Short Cut by Robin Gorman Newman

Seth has never liked getting his hair cut. 

When he was little, he’d hold a magazine up to his face as a shield to keep the clipped hair out of his eyes. 

His original haircutter, Jackie, would put him in a booster seat and do her best to try to distract him.  Knowing he’d get a lollipop afterwards offered some level of incentive, but it was still a challenging process.

Fast forward a number of years, and Seth no longer needs a booster seat.  He’s grown a bit more tolerant of the haircutting process, though it will never rank high on his to do list.

Seth’s most recent cut was with Phyllis.  I had decided to make a change because once when Jackie wasn’t available, we opted for Phyllis and were pleased. 

This time, however, was different.  We walked into the salon, and I instructed Phyllis not to make it short…just to shape it up a bit.  I sat behind Seth’s chair as she cut away.  I was both watching and reading a magazine, and before I knew it, they were done, Seth got up from the chair, turned around, and he took my breathe away….but not in a good way.

I was stunned.  She had layered his hair so much that he looked like a different child.  Still a looker.  But older.  I told her it wasn’t what I had expected given the instructions I shared, and she said I had never stated not to layer it.

What was done was done.  I left disgruntled.  But, more importantly, I later realized that Seth didn’t feel good about himself.  When we got home, his father looked at his cut and said “Seth…you got chopped!” This only added fuel to the fire.  Seth refused to take off his Navy baseball cap for two days.  At first Seth said he liked his new look, but then, thanks to Marc and I, he was no longer pleased.  He even picked up an old photo of himself and said he wanted to look like that again….back in the days when his style was shaped like a bowl.

I’ve always loved his hair….and it’s a source of envy for many.  Straight, shiny, blonde…..each time I take him to the salon, women want to bottle his looks.  So, why would I want it largely cut off?

Eventually, we were able to coax Seth into abandoning his Navy cap, and he started to get compliments on his new look.  Marc and I got used to it, and while I’m not sure I entirely embrace it, I must admit, he does look like a young boy vs. a child.  And, it suits him.  He’s maturing.

No mother wants to see their child grow up too fast.  And, I believe this was part of my initial shock and dismay.  He looked like 8 going on 18….and I don’t want him to be a teenager tomorrow.  I know the years go by fast, and I am enjoying my little buddy.  I want to hold on to that.

While I recognize I might have to abandon his bowl cut of yesteryear, short layers or not, Seth will always be handsome in my eyes…inside and out.