*found in draft form from April, 2008:
For the longest time, both of my boys sported the exact same haircut.
That being the only one I knew how to give them - a crew cut or, if I was feeling particularly skilled, a Caesar. With only occasional visits to the barber shop a few times a year, this method of grooming has saved our family a considerable amount of coin and since they aren't that picky about their hair or standing in the shower in their underwear as I cut it, it has worked for us. So far. . .
All year long, McRae had been begging to grow his hair out.
My first excuse was that it was summer, and too hot.
My second excuse was that it was the beginning of school and he didn't want to look "unkept" for school pictures.
My third excuse was that it was his brother's birthday.
My excuses were, obviously, running out. By the time Christmas rolled around and he was due for another haircut, I had no more excuses. It was time to cave. After all, what harm could it do to let him try a longer, more trendy hairstyle?
After much lecturing on proper hair washing and threats that if his head started to stink or he developed a sudden personality change, the hair would be cut, we let him grow it out. And it wasn't that bad.
He didn't turn into a sullen punk (mostly). He washed his hair everyday and smelled very much like Dove shampoo, not stinky boy. He got compliments from people about his hair and how "cool" it looked. This wasn't so bad after all.
Lo and behold, all good things must come to an end. Since hair does not just stop growing at the desired length, it will eventually need to be trimmed. It was time to see if I could tame the blonde mane that was starting to get in his eyes, thus causing much hair flipping and fondling - at the dinner table nonetheless!
Having never attended beauty school, this was going to be tough. Cutting boy hair any other way other than with clippers and trimming little girls' bangs is nothing compared to actually "doing hair." And that was exactly what I felt like I had been called upon to do. The hair. Do it.
I spritzed his hair and picked up the scissors. I tried to act nonchalant and say things like, "Oh tres manifique!" and "You're going to look fierce!" but it didn't help. I picked up the hair, piece by piece and swiped away at it like I'd observed in the salons.
When a thick coating of cut hair had covered his shoulders, he wanted to peek.
"What do you think?" I asked.
"It's good mom," he answered.
I continued to thin out the sides so he wouldn't have a Dorothy Hammill haircut like I did in the seventies, and called it a day. I tousled his new hair and told him to rinse off. He seemed pleased with the results and was complimented by his siblings - which is better than having them tell you that your hair looks like it was cut by a 2 year-old.
The next day arrived and as he put on his coat and grabbed his school bag, I was deconstructing my handiwork. Did I do a good job? Is is okay? Will the kids at school laugh and point and say, "Who cut your hair? Your mom?" before they run away snickering?
And worse, "Does he look like a girl?"
Only time will tell.
School lets out in 6 hours.