I never quite understood why people make such a fuss about a baby’s first haircut. It’s not like she is seeking to change her image; rather, it’s a purely practical part of personal hygiene that at some point, everyone needs a trim to avoid looking sloppy and unkempt. There may be more of a judgment call involved for little girls, but when strangers began remarking about our beautiful daughter, my husband and I knew it was time to get our little boy’s hair cut.
We considered making it an event – taking our son to a children’s salon for fuss and photo ops, maybe going out to lunch afterwards to celebrate. But celebrate what? That after almost a year of near-baldness, our child finally has more hair than he needs? That our baby has reached a milestone on his inevitable march towards adulthood? Personally, I adore my son’s curls, even when they get frizzy and go in all directions, so I was in no hurry to part with them. I kept making excuses and postponing the trip to the hairdresser. Then yesterday, some friends came over with both father and son sporting new DIY do’s. That was it, my husband decided he was going to give our son his first haircut (and then cut his own hair as well). I did not put up a fuss, but asked that he not take off too much.
We weren’t sure how our son would react to getting his hair cut, but he sat quietly and seemed fascinated by the ever-growing pile of blond curls in front of him. Afterwards, he kept running his fingers through his shorn locks in amazement. He laughed at himself in the mirror, but otherwise doesn’t seem too bothered by the whole experience.
I, on the other hand, am a mess. Cuddling with my son this morning, I missed the tickle of his soft, fine hair on my nose. Sitting at the park, it was almost hard for me to pick him out from the other kids without his identifiable mop of curls. Worst of all, my son looks so much older without his curly hair. So I guess that’s why the first haircut is something of a rite of passage – it’s an affirmative action by parents to cut away a piece of their child’s “baby-ness.” I was not prepared for the physical change it would effect on my son, or the emotional impact it would have on me.
Fortunately, I thought my little boy was adorable even with no hair, and his curls will grow back. It may be awhile, however, before I agree to a second haircut.