A Hairy Situation
Last week while Shorty and I were coming back from a trip to the library and evening errands, I mentioned that he’d be getting his hair trimmed soon. I had no idea that simply letting him know he was in need of a haircut would launch a heated discussion on the topic of his hair and who has the rights to it. Obviously I thought and still think that I hold the power over how his lid is styled but my nine-year-old son had other plans.
“I want to grow it out,” he declared.
“No problem,” I said. “Right after we get your pictures done next month.” Even in the darkness of the car, I could tell he was not happy with that answer.
“Mom. It’s my hair. I want to let it grow out long enough for a ponytail.” He states his plans with authority and as he described with much passion and assuredness how the hair on his head belonged to him and it was his decision what happened to the hair on his head that I couldn’t help but feel my own hair go a little grayer with every word he spoke.
You see, I’ve had this argument before but this is the first time I’ve had it with Shorty. About three years ago, Bug and I had a similar conversation and it seems that Bebe and I have the hair discussion weekly.
I realize that I won’t be in control of their hair, fashion or style choices forever, but Shorty has just broken the cusp of tweenness and already I feel a pull to reign him in and regain my control.
But that isn’t fair to him is it? I am constantly telling people how glad I am that they are growing up and becoming more independent; relying on me less and less for constant care but reaching out when they do need me that when I get the chance to give up something as simple as a haircut, I grab hold of it like he was taking his first step or heading off to school for the first time.
I don’t understand why we struggle for control over the simple things any more than you do but I do know this; the best way to keep some control is to give some up; Compromise is key.
In the end we agreed that after we had his pictures taken next month, he was welcome to grow out his hair as long as he wanted, on two conditions; the first is that he would keep his hair clean which means showering and washing it regularly and that he keeps it out of his eyes. I don’t care if he borrows his sister’s barrettes; he will not walk around with hair in his eyes so he can’t see.
I had to explain that these were the same rules that I employed with his brother and sister; clean hair and be able to see. I realize the style for boys and girls now is a throwback to the hippie days of the 1970’s and this mom can roll with that but in order for me to give them the independence they crave, I need a little something in return. And today? It’s being able to see their beautiful eyes through clean hair.