That Time My Teen Texted Me to ASK for a Haircut
You can thank me now. I was going to write this week's post about ballooning college application volumes and what to do about them. Then, I got a haircut and felt a little lighter in a world full of heavy issues, and so... I digressed. Bear with me.
Today let's remind ourselves of the power of the small wins in life – like a great haircut – and the relief we feel when we realize that some of what we've struggled to communicate to our children actually sank in and we no longer have to worry about it.
First, a small win:
I dropped into my hairdresser's chair earlier this week, thankful to have been squeezed into her crazy schedule, only to be informed that the last time I had been in to see her was in August of 2021. It turns out that as a ski mom who wears SKIDA hats indoors and out during the entire ski racing season, I begin to look like every ski racing teen boy in the U19 and U16 age brackets. The only difference is that I also sport a strong showing of naturally "bleached" (read: grey) roots and more than a few laugh lines. Coincidentally, my grand-puppy, Bella, saw her groomer on the same day as me, and as you can see, we both look better with a good haircut.
Second, the bittersweet satisfaction of crossing off one line of parental responsibilities:
I received a text from my son Aaron a couple of weeks back. Aaron just turned 18. Developmentally, we know that toddlers and teens strive for autonomy in these two critical periods. Toddlers do whatever they can to control what they eat. Teens and tweens have another card they play that isn't dangerous or life-alternating but can cause tension: the haircut. Aaron was all for regular grooming until he turned 12. From that point forward, unless his hair was completely covering his eyes, he was adamant that HE DID NOT NEED A HAIRCUT.
Last month, ski season came to an end, and remarkably, a full 36 hours prior to prom, my 18-year-old texted me and ASKED if he could get a haircut. Wait, what??? For SIX YEARS he has been refusing haircuts! "The haircut" has been a source of both frustration and some memorable moments. Behold, the post-season shearing of his ninth-grade year; the extra-long quarantine shot with the, "I'll only be locked up with 'you people' for this long once (hopefully!)"; The Last Airbender cut; and, the aforementioned 2022 Stratton Mountain School prom cut (shown with his sister, Mary).
He just got his driver's license so I suspect it will be the last time I receive a text for a ride to the barbershop, which means I won't be able to guilt him into taking pre- and post-shearing photos. However, I'm pretty sure I just may continue to receive the text for a cash transfer so he can pay the barber.
That part is still on the parental responsibility list.
At least for now.
In all the heaviness of the world, I hope this reminds you to find your own small wins and look for the joy in your daily journey.