by Terri Winder
When he was a year old we called him Harry Walker, because he was pretty much bald and not yet walking. We were hoping that he would respond to our moniker for him and grow hair and start walking. He did.
Only he didn’t walk – he ran; and his hair grew wild and stood up in a natural Mohawk from a double cowlick in the back.
In order to make him look good, his hair had to be very short, or very long.
As his mother, I would choose very short. As himself, he has chosen very long. In retrospect, perhaps we should have thought of a different name.
It is important that you know I like this son. Like is essential during the teenage years, for it goes beyond natural mother love – and I really do like this son.
However, his hair may be the death of me yet. And the worst part of it is that he doesn’t seem to care.
He knows I can’t bear to look at him, for all I see is hair. He knows that every night I fight the temptation to sneak into his room while he is sleeping and cut away a goodly portion of his dyed black locks.
He knows that I believe that in the same amount of time he spends doing his hair he could become a concert pianist or a world class artist.
Some young men spend an hour a day in front of the mirror, combing their hair. He spends at least an hour a day carefully messing his up.
Now, the truth is, I think this is a form of rebellion, and I have to remind myself that as far as rebellion goes, this is pretty mild.
I have a friend who insists that all children must rebel at some point, and the younger they are when it happens, the easier it is on both themselves and their parents.
The problems is, I didn’t recognize what was happening when this all started. I didn’t mind the spiked look, and perhaps I should have objected at that point and saved myself grief as he went to greater lengths—so to speak—in his rebellion.
At first his own personal ‘do’ looked like someone had given him a swirly. He got comments about the resemblance to an ice cream cone, and some of his peers called him Jimmy Neutron. And then it grew longer.
In the past few months, he has gone way beyond ‘mop top’ and ‘mussed’. I’m expecting his hair—which looks somewhat like a full grown tumbleweed—to go to seed any day now.
Depending on what kind of gel and hairspray combination he uses, it sometimes does look like it has gone to seed; or, as we have told him, it looks like his hair is full of dryer lint.
This is pretty remarkable considering he washes it at least twice a day.
He nearly gave in to the hair cut idea several weeks ago. He did his morning shampoo and Got2b Glued routine and then walked out the door, only to return almost immediately, his eyes looking nearly as wild as his hair.
Somehow he had walked into a cloud of flies and nearly a dozen had become stuck in his still wet hair gel.
Their angry buzzing did not exactly sound like a concert in the park. At that point I decided he didn’t need me bugging him.
Hair is one thing adolescents should have control over in their lives, I suppose adults manage to control about everything else. Still, I am looking forward to the day this son finds a moderate style. Then I’ll be able to like him and his hair.