Telling: Altars & Artifacts



Today was haircut day. Picture day Wednesday, boys need cleaning up. Jake has finally acquiesed to our desire to cut his hair. He has been cultivating it carefully, wanting it to tuck behind his ears. He has lovely hair, heavy and straight and stratified, light and dark. I've come to enjoy the weight and shiver of it, so when he shrugged and said, "Ok, crewcut." I balked, not ready to take my razor to that head. "You don't have to shave it all off. We could go to the hair place and get them to just clean it up a bit." "Ok."

So I took them all to the haircutters. Gus opted for something spikey. I rolled my eyes and shrugged. Jake and I looked through the book of pictures and found something that looked like his hair only cleaner around the ears and neck, a bit shorter over the eyes. We showed the lady, she said, "A mushroom cut, ok." I said, "Is that a mushroom cut? ok." thinking I'd had the wrong idea of what a mushroom cut was. She took a razor to Jacob, shaved the sides and back of his head, leaving a little cap on top. I stood watching Jake crumble into himself, while I grew furious. There was no going back, so I just stood watching, but when the lady finished and asked: "How's that?" I answered, "It's not what we asked for." When Jacob left the chair I had it out with her, most uncharacteristic. And stupid too. I turned to see Jacob huddled in a corner, crying. I should have lightened rather than intensified the moment. Bad move mom.

I took him on my lap and told him it'd be alright, it'd grow back and it was pretty cool as it was even if it wasn't what we asked for. He wasn't buying. He didn't want to be seen like that. Wouldn't go into the gas station to get his soda. Hid his head.

Boys had pizza hut for dinner. Jenny brought thai food and wine to celebrate the full moon. We sat and talked and drank and let the boys stay up too late. Watt was just coming in as Jenny left. I'd had enough wine to make me too tired to be diplomatic with boys. I got into bed with Tucker chattering beside me, thinking I'd toothfairy Jacob's tooth when I woke early. But I didn't wake early.


A Mother's Journal

field notes from
1997 - 1999