March 20, 2013.

On Sunday Jonah had a piano recital.  Which means he got a hair-cut.  So he sat in the chair in our kitchen as I draped the heavy black cape over him.  I give hair cuts to all the “men” in my house.  Micah is the easiest, because he loves getting his hair trimmed. Daniel is fine, though he gets a bit whiny.   And Jonah and Dyp are the hardest. I don’t know if it’s because they both have similarly coarse hair which grows every which way, and it gets uncomfortable and sometimes pull as I run the clippers,  or because they think it’s a good time to test my patience. Dyp being the only real man that lives here, has gotten better.  For a long time I refused to let him talk as I cut his hair.  I dreaded giving hair cuts, but it is so cost effective we can’t really afford not to. In fact after the first time I cut his hair, he went to work and the Sergeant told him he had to go and get a hair cut before he could hit the street(it looked THAT bad). I was mortified and refused to cut it again until I had watched enough You Tube Videos that I felt confident.  So, as reluctant as I was, and unskilled I cut all their hair.

Truth be told; I love the look of their freshly trimmed hair, and I love knowing that I did it. 

So, Jonah got a hair cut. Maybe he realized I needed a day of rest but he didn’t complain once.  In fact it was as if I was being paid to do this job, and he opened up to me.  I felt like a real live hair dresser, for about 5 minutes.  Jonah has never really confided in me.  He is very close to his Dad, so if he is ever going to tell me something I have to practically sit on him to get whatever is on his mind out. But he just started talking to me.  He confided in me about someone who is mean to him.  Earlier this school year we had a reaccuring bully issue.  Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until it had been happening for a couple of months. Jonah, had tried to deal with it on his own, was embarrased, and was hesistant to tell us. But one day it flooded out…that was how it was today. As the natural sunlight lit up our kitchen–He told me about how everytime we are around a certain person they are very mean to him and his brothers.  He said he really wants this person to like him.  I explained that if this person isn’t nice, they aren’t the kind of person we need in our lives.  But of course as with life, it’s not that simple. 

After I talked to him about this, and told him that I would personally moniter this situation the next time.  I thought about my own life, my own advice. Recently I had realized that I didn’t like someone, didn’t like being around them, was trying to “will” myself to like them, so that maybe they would be nicer to me.  Or atleast less offensive.  As a kid you’re told you need to be friends with every one…which is hard when the other person is a butt. And yes I know…even buttheads need love, but still. 

July 13, 2017 

All these years later, I still cut their hair. Over the years I’ve also cut my sister’s hair, my Spanish daughter’s hair, and some of my boys friend’s hair too. I’ve learned how to layer hair thanks to having a daughter. I’ve never been paid except for in Diet Dr Pepper. I’ve made mistakes and cut hair too short, and had a teenager not speak to me for the remainder of the night. I’ve shaved two of them bald in honor of people fighting cancer. And My husband has much more grey these days as I cut his hair, but these days I let him talk.
Now as each of my boys have grown I wait for the moments when the flood of words come out and they share their hearts with me. 

 Jonah and I have become very close in the last year, and I’m so thankful he has two parents he feels comfortable sharing things with. But sometimes it’s weeks or months until he shares the real stuff he’s going through. Sometimes I feel like I’m just talking and filling up the space. He now knows there are real monsters out there. He’s not naive, and sometimes I just want to move away from all of this because I see my beautiful boy has become hardened by real hurts and deep disappointments. He has a life and relationships I don’t always know about. He is close to us, and yet is growing into his own person. And He is in love(what?!). Sometimes I just want him to tell me his stuff, it doesn’t even have to be big stuff…I just want to feel a part of his life. 

Daniel will talk to me, especially right before bed, but prefers his Dad. His Dad has always been his person. I cling to the times he does open up to me. Sometimes his heart gets overwhelmed with gratitude or moved by his Faith and we both cry. His faith inspires me every day. He has been a rock to one of his closest friends who lost his Dad, he is the friend I always know will show up. And he has shown that time and again.  And yet, he is still very much a teenage boy. I think I will still need to call him when he’s 30 to remind him to pick up his socks. 

And Micah loves to tell me about every detail of school, sports game, and situation. He loves to tell me riddles and jokes, and all of his amazing stories. But when things have hurt him, or things are hard he buries those things deep down in his heart. I told him recently how if you don’t let your self feel things and if you cover them up too tight, you can poison your heart by letting them sit and not be settled. He came in later that night and told me all the times that he felt or was burying because he didn’t want to get sick. Gosh, I love that kid. Gosh, I don’t want him to grow up. 

As for the girl…

Grace wants to cut hair someday. Or be a singer. Or be a teacher. Or a nurse. Or a farmer. And be a Mom. And she will and can do all of those things. She likes to tell me everything, everyday, sometimes even twice. 

And Dyp said he doesn’t ever want anyone else to cut his hair. I should marry him. And make out with him. 

Today as I read back over these old unpublished drafts I was able to step back into the then and see clearly in the now. I often try not to look back…it makes my heart hurt, I loved them all at every age. I don’t long for them to grow up. But then I get to see how beautiful they are. I see what faithful friends they are. I see how well they love. I see how real they live. And I realized that even if I wasn’t their mom, I would want to be their friend. They are much coooler than I ever was…because they are already so good at knowing who they are. It took me 38 years to know that. And a lot of days, I’m still working on being okay with her. 

So, I’ll continue to cut their hair, as long as they’ll let me. These days my boys buy me Diet Dr. Peppers with their own money when they go on walks. And I tell them I’m here, and when my kids tell me their “stuff” I hold it tight. I listen. And I hold them tight, and love every hair on their heads. Even when it’s shaggy. Even when they are buttheads(which they usually aren’t)…but still. I love them. 
…to God be the glory.