Before I even met my son, I knew he had a full head of jet-black hair. As the surgeon delivered him, my husband peeked over the surgical drapes and exclaimed, “Oh my god, he has so much hair!” And, indeed he did. My newborn son had as much hair as some toddlers.
As he grew, my son’s hair was a topic of much discussion, often from kindly elderly women in the grocery store.
“Those curls are wasted on a boy!” or “My goodness, I’ve never seen a baby with so much hair!” they’d cluck.
Most toddlers have their first haircut around their first birthday.
Our son had his first cut by the time he was four months old.
Over the years, we kept our son’s curly mane under control with regular trips to the barber.
He’d come home, bright eyed and looking fresh with his latest high and tight haircut, bearing a grin and two lollipops—one for him and one for his sister.
He always looked adorable with his little man haircut, too. Though, I think we all agree that the summer I had the barber give him a buzz cut was a step too far. I’m saving those pictures for blackmail, ahem.
But, now that my son is 17, all bets are off when it comes to his hair.
Somewhere between finishing kindergarten and earning his driver’s permit, my son has decided that he’d like to live his life as a veritable Sasquatch and I can’t stand it for one. more. minute.
My once fresh-faced toddler is now a hairy man I barely recognize.
His hair is a tumble of unruly curls that he maintains on the most minimal of levels. And by “maintain,” I mean he washes his hair and occasionally runs a gob of hair gel through it on his way out the door.
His arms have hair so thick that it looks like he’s wearing sleeves. His once knobby knees are covered in dark man fur.
He has chest hair. When did that happen?
My little boy is no more.
When I suggest that he might consider getting a trim, the prospect of a lollipop from the barber is no longer enough for my son to agree. He rolls his eyes at me and says, “Come on, Mah, leave it alone.”
But I can’t. I’m really over his hair. There, I said it.
I know I’m not alone. His friends are all unabashedly rocking the “teen boy hair, don’t care” look. It’s like they all woke up one day and decided to drive their moms crazy with their hair rebellion.
And quarantine has only made it worse. On the day our county was directed to shelter in place, my son decided to try an experiment.
His project? He decided to grow a beard until the stay-at-home order was lifted.
Yes, a beard. He has 91 days of hair grown on his chinny-chin-chin and he looks like Tom Hanks in Castaway.
I know I’m supposed to accept my son’s decisions when it comes to the way he wants to present himself to the world. But between the full beard and hair that makes him look like he’s wearing a clown wig most days, I miss my fresh-faced little boy.
I miss seeing his eyes clearly, without a tumble of hair blocking his gaze.
I miss kissing his smooth cheeks, the ones that smelled like baby lotion at the end of the day.
And I really miss when our shower drain wasn’t clogged with more hair than Drain-O can handle.
A few nights ago, my son and a few friends gathered to let their hair down (pun intended) at the home of one of my close friends for a socially distanced evening around the fire pit. When he arrived, she texted, “FYI, Sasquatch arrived safe and sound.”
I’m sure, one day, my son will decide that he’s had enough of the excess hair and he could do with a haircut. Until then, I’m going to do my best to embrace the hirsute young man I’ve raised and be grateful that, while he may look like Big Foot, at least he doesn’t smell like him.