For weeks Silas has been asking if he could "get bald." I cannot think of where he's ever seen a crew cut or an inspiring bald man (grandfathers, neither of you is bald), but he has a vision.
Yesterday he begged me not to give him a haircut but to let him go to the barber shop instead. I think it was the fact that he had such a sense of what he wanted, and that his desire was so much his own -- crew cuts aren't exactly in vogue right now -- that despite myself, I caved. (and yes, I had to give myself lots of pep talks).
Maybe it's from reading Blake (Songs of Innocence, "The Chimney Sweeper": "There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,/That curl'd like a lamb's back, was shav'd...") but I got teary between the car and the barber shop picturing my little boy, self-assured in the barber's chair, getting his little head shaved.
Once we were there, though, it wasn't so bad. Eden paraded around munching on a blow pop they gave her, yes -- chewing up and swallowing every bit of gum, while Silas sat tented in his big black smock giggling every time the clippers approached his ears or neck.
They cut the sides first, so I eased into the shortness, and saved the top for last.
What I wasn't prepared for was the quick shock of tears that sprang to my eyes the moment I saw his shaved hairline. I haven't seen Silas's hairline since he was about 6 months old and his hair grew long enough to cover it. He has a sweet widows peak and two little cowlicks on either side. For hours on end I used to look at that hairline, as he nursed, as he played, marveling at this new little person who had come to live in my arms. And there in the old man barber shop was my baby's little forehead again.
(I will post better pictures -- this is from photobooth and he took it himself. He couldn't be more proud of his fuzzy head. Apparently, it is exactly what he wanted).
I also found these pictures he'd taken while I was somewhere else in the house: