Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's Just Hair

My house feels extra small when it rains. The backyard becomes a swampy mud pit and there are only so many times we can suit up in our rain gear and ride slippery-pedaled bikes around the block and so we end up hanging out inside a lot. I am eternally grateful for the invention of Harry Potter Uno and for Sawyer's surprising ability to pick it up fast enough to play with the rest of us. The fire is warm and there are plenty of books to be read, so I guess the rainy season isn't so hard on us after all.

Jack has decided that he wants to learn how to read. He is working on letter sounds and stringing words together. It won't be long now, I think.

And when the rain subsides we emerge from our cozy bear cave, throw snacks and kids and dog into the car and go. Because inhaling that fresh winter air is good for our souls and we all need to take care of our little souls from time to time. Especially in January.

The long-anticipated BIG BOY haircut happened this week. I thought I might feel a twinge of sadness as I watched those golden locks flutter to the floor. And I was right, but it was time. Hell, it was past time. The kid is almost THREE YEARS OLD for god's sake.

Besides, it's just hair.

Just hair. But once you go for the big boy cut, you really can't go back and when you are a sentimental sap like me, you attach all kinds of emotional value to something like your baby's hair. Even when your baby is almost three.

They just keep getting bigger, these kids.

He still slips his thumb into his mouth for comfort and drags around a faded green blanky and wants to be held at the most inopportune moments. But he also puts his own boots on and stuffs his pockets full of cars and talks about his friends and has an opinion about everything. He is a big boy.

There's something liberating about having potty trained kids who sleep through the night and eat dinner at the table and have distinct personalities and the ability to communicate with others. Then again, sometimes I yearn to cradle his sweet baby body just once more and breathe in his clean, milky scent and run my lips over that tuft of baby fuzzhead. And so I wait until he is asleep and I tiptoe to his bedside to tuck the blankets in around him and I listen to his sleeping noises and my fingers go instinctively to that soft, silky hair. I gather toy cars from his tangle of blankets and move a stack of books from the bed to the floor and then I slip out the door and leave him to sleep in his big boy bed.

I guess that's why it was hard to cut the hair.

Since I am at least five years behind in most trends and/or technological advances (hey, I've been KINDA BUSY the past few years) I recently discovered the supreme awesomeness of Pandora Radio.

I get totally lost in my own memories when I listen to the Pixies station. One minute I'm in my kitchen stirring up a big pot of chili with my kids underfoot and then suddenly I'm sixteen and browsing through a Seattle record store and realizing that the music is speaking to me. Whispering in my ear and echoing my own thoughts that I've never dared to put into words. Moments later I'm twenty-one and I'm sitting in downtown Portland traffic on my way to work, wondering if I should go back to school. Wondering if I'll ever get a good boyfriend. I stir the chili and realize that I haven't felt that familiar pang of loneliness for years now. Jack says, "What's this one called?" and I reply, "Cake. This band is called Cake." "I love them!" He jumps up and down in his clumsy and endearing attempt at rhythm and I know someday the music will speak to him, too.

Then Sawyer comes barreling through the kitchen with an armload of cars on some mission of destruction and pauses to smile up at me. "Mom, like my new haircut, Mom?"

No, buddy, I love it.


  1. You are such a wonderful mother! Period.

  2. Oh, you got me good with this one. Just last night I was retelling a story about my baby boy (now TWENTY-3) as a 2 year old. As I was sharing, my personal thoughts went to his crown of downy curls and his sweet scent. There's a lock from his Big Boy haircut tucked away in his baby book. Here I sit all teary!