My kids’ hair has been a topic of conversation over the years. Having learned how to trim hair on my friends in college, I’ve been giving our boys their haircuts since their very first cuts. I always had to start with the most squirrely boy because by the time I got to the third cut, I was out of patience and I needed cooperation. So Charlie was always last, because he could sit still and let me get the thing done. I think each has had one cut from someone else, away from my home barber shop. But it’s never what they’re used to. They keep coming back. They call up or text to see if it’s possible that Mom’s shop will just happen to be open on their next visit home. Somehow, it always is.
Jason depends on me for his haircuts too. One time, not long into our marriage, when we were back in Minnesota, he went to a life-long family friend who had a small shop. After the cut, I frankly told him how bad it was. He agreed. It looked like the fellow had done a bowl cut, where you put a bowl on one’s head and cut around the edges. It was surely the same cut that barber had given every local farmer since 1950. I declared that I would be doing it from then on.
One day I was in a hurry, doing several haircuts in a row and just trying to get them all done. I rushed too much and cut off the top of my knuckle on one of the fingers holding up the strands of hair. I still shudder when I think of it! So let’s not!
I trimmed about eight inches off Molly’s hair when she was eight. I still have the little blond braid in a bag in my sock drawer. After that major trim, I cut only a couple of inches a few times to keep her ends cleaned up. It just kept growing, on and on until it was down past her waist. She could sit on it when it wasn’t up in a ponytail. After her first semester of college, she decided to chop it all off. She loves it short.
In high school, Pierce did the Bald for Bucks challenge twice. The second time, we colored his hair purple after he’d gown it out for many months preparing for the event. His ’fro was sensational. It was great fun to go to the assembly and watch him get it shaved off. He was one of the main attractions. Even the local news was there and he made the paper and evening news. And he raised a good chunk of change for cancer research.
Spencer and Pierce have some kind of hair genes. I’m not sure where they come from. Maybe my Jewish great-grandfather. The ringlets Pierce grows makes me think of Fiddler on the Roof. They have done the No-Shave-November for prostate cancer awareness a few times. One year, to make the November challenge even more fun, they went to the end of the year and had a two-month Beard-Off to see who would get the biggest beard. Within a few hours after shaving October 31, their beards were already sprouting. It was fascinating; as it turned out, they both have the identical beard (I love genetics!). Spencer was ready to shave the whole thing off about half way through their beard-off. He made it just to about Christmas and couldn’t wait to shave. Pierce kept his and has had it mostly since. If he shaves he can get it back in a couple of weeks. After several months of growing, Pierce can look homeless (if he lets his hair down and poses just right).
I think of all this today because Pierce is coming over later to get his “man bun” cut off. I don’t know how many years he’s been growing it out now, but he’s got a lot of hair in there. It’s really hard to cut his hair because of all the curls. When he was really little, he had straight hair, and it was blond. Then when he was about three, it started to curl. Now it wraps around my fingers as I try to hold it up for the scissors. I’ve developed a way to cut it that works just for him so I don’t get tangled in the spirals of hair. I’m going to have to keep my home shop open a long time to get all of those locks shorn.
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