Monday, December 7, 2009

Five Photographs in Five Days: Day Two

When I was about 16 years old
I decided to start questioning my parents for procedures they forced upon me in the past (sounds about right, doesn't it?) Like for instance,the bowl cut:

Why Mom? Why?

(And why did you let baby Lucy spit up on my first grade class photo? I get no respect!)

But my mom has always held the same response, formed in her internal opinion-generating-office, "I just liked you better that way."

Which is a response I never understood until I birthed my own child who came out sprouting hobo hair. A cropping of hair molecules so defiant and wrong, it attracted its own sphere of sticky things and made me forever pick at it. In short, my son's hair made me look like a bad mother.

Exhibit A:

See that soft tuft in the back? You'd think it was charming until it reminded you of a wanton bird's nest with intentions of permanent residence. (Although I am sure this is just a phase of baby hair--a temporary fix until the real stuff grows in.)

I started noticing my adoration of The Chief's adorable face was often diminished by his directionless hair. When we put him in hats he became many times cuter (something I formerly thought not possible!) And cute is important at our house, I disclaim.

So on Saturday we put our son in the tub with lots of toys and I with my camera and Chup with his razor, buzzed away at the The Chief's feathers we once called hair.

Exhibit B:

About half way around we discovered that our son can indeed pull off the punk look, and considered stopping there.

Exhibit C:

But no, we'll wait for his turn at sixteen to decide that for himself. We carried on.

Exhibits D & E:

When all was shaved and sheared, I looked at my child and saw a small trace of my former nemesis--his overgrown baby hair--in short collections on his head. Here was my beautiful baby, I could see his face again because I wasn't getting caught up in in the confusion of his coif. Simplicity had returned.

Exhibit F:

I don't want to say I love him more now with his shorter hair, but I think I might. Even Chup remarked, "I think he is actually happier this way." This coming after The Chief discovered he likes us to rub his head, as you are want to do with any buzzed head offered in your direction. I actually think The Chief's hair was complicating our relationship because things are so much happier around here since the cut. I now get kissed seven times more daily with his open-mouth-I-want-to-devour-you style of affection. I mean, from The Chief (although if those kisses were from Chup I'd not complain) and his developing oedipal complex.

To my mother, I now understand. Mark this as the first Now I Get Why She Did That realizations to come. The bowl cut for her, is like the buzz cut for me. And if at age sixteen The Chief reads and asks, "Why the buzz cut Mom? Why?" I'll respond with a familiar phrasing:

I just liked you better that way.