Fourteen years ago, I came home one afternoon to find that my husband had cut off my toddler’s curls.
Teddy was 22 months old, and when I left the house he had sweet baby curls on his neck. Now he had a big boy haircut. Of course, I started to cry. Not-quite-three year old Jake, seeing my distress, brought me a chair and gave me a banana for consolation. Teddy told me, “Daddy broke mine turls. He tut my turls off mine head.”
I put Teddy’s curls in an envelope on which I wrote his comments. Of course, this all seems like it was yesterday.
Teddy has grown up to have the most fabulous hair in a family known for fabulous hair. (Yes, I know that is bragging, but I have actually had people standing behind us in Mass tell me, “You all have the most beautiful hair!”) Teddy’s hair is dark brown, and so thick that it causes him to go up a football helmet size. For some reason the authorities at KCHS never make him cut it, so it is usually covering his eyebrows. Before football, he used to let it grow to ridiculous lengths every summer. His entire life he has had to endure people constantly patting him on the head and running their fingers through it–it’s that kind of hair.
AND HE CUT IT ALL OFF.
I knew Teddy had gone out with John to get a haircut on Saturday afternoon, but I had not seen him since, what with going to Mass with Emily and stopping to buy food for the sleepover he was having. I was out on the porch paying the pizza man when I saw it first. That poor man thought I’d gone crazy I’m sure. “What have you done?” I cried. “Your hair! Your beautiful hair!” I was so shaken up I couldn’t even calculate the tip properly.
I followed Teddy into the house, where he and his five friends eyed the pizza hungrily. “Don’t you all think he looks terrible?” I asked them. But alas, all of them were united in their enthusiasm for the one-inch long buzz cut, the desecration, the wasteland on Teddy’s head. (John said Teddy wanted it shorter, but he would not allow it, Thank God.)
His hair is so thick you can’t see his scalp, and it feels like a carpet when you run your hand across the top of it. He looks so different that at least one person at school failed to recognize him at first glance. I can’t do the before/after thing for you because I have not yet been able to bring myself to take any “after” pictures.
But, as Barbara Coloroso says, “It is not life-threatening, morally threatening, or unhealthy. And it will grow back.” Right?