Today on my way to run a few errands, I dropped my son off at the salon for a hair cut. Yes, I said salon (And guys, don’t pretend you all actually still go to a barber to get your hair cut. Everyone knows they’re extinct).
Noah’s hair grows fast and wild and had mutated from last month’s neat and respectable “A” student-type haircut into a furious bloom of long curls that many locals refer to as “hockey hair”. I don’t understand that reference so I choose to simply call Noah’s most recent hairstyle as being a Peter Cut… as in Peter from the Brady Bunch. Anyway, it was long, wavy, and was annoying Noah just enough that he was actually begging me for a haircut.
So, on my way to return some foolish eggnog induced pre-Christmas purchases, I dropped Noah off at the
beauty shop. After returning my stuff, I casually browsed around a couple of stores, then returned to the salon to pick Noah up.
When I entered the shop where I had left him a mere half hour earlier, he was nowhere to be seen. I knew he had no possible way to pay for the haircut himself (and even if he did, he certainly wouldn’t waste his money on grooming expenses) so he couldn’t have left at is own volition. Slightly panicked, I darted past a bald man sitting in the waiting area to the back of the shop — no Noah. I sped back toward the entrance, certain that some freak had kidnapped my son but the only people in sight were two giggling girls comparing nail polish behind the receptionist desk and Mr. Baldy who was still seated in a chair reading a magazine — probably waiting for his wife to finish getting her hair dyed.
I was sprinting out the door to scan the sidewalk when Mr. Baldy called out to me, “Mom. Mommm!!”
Seriously? That hairless dude actually thinks I’m his mother?
Rather annoyed, I stopped and turned toward the man and was shocked with disbelief when standing before me was my bald, 5 foot 11 inch 14 year old son. Okay. He wasn’t actually completely bald but pretty darned close with just a fraction of an inch of hair sprouting across his head.
How did this happen? I had dropped off a floppy-haired teen age boy and 30 minutes later, was picking up a hairless middle aged man. I wasn’t digging this new “do.”
Wordless, I paid for the hair cut and on the way to the car I turned to Noah and asked wryly, “Wow…Do you like it?”
“Yah,” Noah said, “It makes me look tough.”
So, this is what tough looks like now? Back in my day, the only kids that had hair this short were the ones who were sentenced to the shame of a buzzcut by their parents — usually after some heinous crime like being caught by their dad smoking weed behind the garage, or if their mom accidentally found a pint of blackberry brandy stuffed inside a tube sock in their underwear drawer while putting laundry away. In the 80′s,” tough” and “buzzcut” were never, ever used in the same sentence.
“I see…” I said. “As long as you like it, that’s good.”
Once inside the car, he ran his hand over his stubble. “It feels like the gerbil’s fur.”
At that moment he went from being Mr. Baldy back to my son, Noah. If looking like a skinhead is what he digs right now, so be it. There are a lot worse things I could be dealing with than a hairdo that doesn’t meet my mommish fashion standard. Sometimes, you need to pick your battles, especially when it comes to teenagers.
I ran my hand over his newly cut hair, too. ”Yup. You’re right. It feels just like rodent fur.”
Do you fret about your child’s sense of “style?” Do you have certain rules regarding the way they dress, their makeup, or hair?