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Holy Helmet


My son Michael screamed helplessly as I mercilessly attempted to tug a comb through his hair.

“Geez, sit still. Come on. It’s not that bad,” I responded unsympathetically. Truthfully. It was. That bad.  Either my son’s hair had grown about two inches overnight, or I had seriously neglected scheduling a haircut. Definitely the latter.

 It was as if someone had just clapped on the lights and – Boom- Hair Fro Explosion. My son’s hair does not lay limply in his eyes. His side burns do not cup his face. There is no hair grazing the nape of this little man’s neck. Upward and onward. Gravity’s got nothing on this kid’s hair. Chestnut waves reach for the stars. Think Kramer. Think young Einstein. Think a bulbous, tuft explosion; kinked waves tussling with crooked curls like the Jets and the Sharks. Misfit jagged straight hairs prod through like sparklers. He goes to sleep and awakes looking as if he had combed his hair with a firecracker. I’m not exaggerating. My little man’s hair is confused. Misguided and misdirected.

About four years ago he wanted to grow his hair out for the Justin Bieber look. God help us. I didn’t have the heart to say no. Two months in, I would watch, wincing as my little man desperately tried to comb down his puff of bangs, tongue crookedly sticking out of the corner of his mouth.

It’s big. A clustered, curly puff of auburn madness.

I laughed with furrowed brows, using my overpowered comb to try and talk some sense into this unruly pomp.

“Come on! Are you serious?!” Michael yelps with a wince.

“Do you know what you look like right now?” I answer between gasps of my laughter.  

He tip toes to glance in the mirror. His eyebrows raise and he starts cracks up. It’s now the leaning tower of Pisa.

“What? This is new to you? You didn’t bother looking into the mirror this morning?”

He’s laughing as I apply a dab of my Moroccan Oil treatment in vain.

“Uh. That really helped, Mom,” he says with a sarcastic smile. Little punk. He was right. Now he just resembled Liberace.

Consequently, two hours later I sit in Great Clips. While thumbing through a Rolling Stone, I occasionally glance up at my caped son, sitting handsomely in the salon chair.

You know? As the tormenting tufts fell softly to the floor, they didn’t seem so daunting and snarly. I sort of mourned for them. Stripped of their power, swept up in a defeated pile. I smiled realizing I’ll actually look forward to wrestling with them again as we laugh in the cramped bathroom. My opponent. I appreciate the enthusiasm and zest this hair has for life. I can respect that. I’ll miss them when I’m no longer allowed to take on the task of taming them. The hair that is awesomely unruly; a baffling pick from the genetic lottery pool. All his. It’s perfect in its chaotic glory. It’s really perfect. 

From across the room, Michael gives me a little smile and I give him a reassuring thumbs up. Yes, he looks handsome and dapper with his freshly cut, GQ locks, but I know it’s only a matter of time before the helmet resurfaces… And I kind of love it. 


Categories: Uncategorized


10 replies

  1. I love this slice – the image of him sitting in the chair with the cape wrapped around him and tufts on the floor was just precious. Thanks!

  2. Brighid, You are back baby! How I love your writing!! Your descriptions are perfection. I felt the tug of war between love and hat for Michael’s locks. Life is like that – we so often experience both! I’m reminded of one of your students from the past….Damion. That’s the head of hair I’m seeing in my mind as I read your slice. Good stuff!

  3. I can imagine this whole scene! Oh Michael! Your hair has nothing on your smile, kid! You can pull off any ‘do with that contagious ear to ear smile of yours! If can see it now and know I would be crying laughing watching this go down… My favorite part: Liberace oil treatment. Your reference machine kills me. Love this!

  4. Ha ha I literally laughed out loud…..especially picturing his resemblance to Liberace!! BTW One of my sons also had the helmet problem…..I can identify:-)

  5. Hair with a mind of it’s own-Love IT! The joy of taming tangles. I sit here hysterically laughing, and dreading “wash” day all at the same time.

  6. Love your post I can feel the tug between your love for the locks and your love for the tameness of a hair cut. Your descriptions are powerful, love your voice and passion.

  7. Brighid, I love this piece. Your descriptive words. Really, it’s all so great. We have not reached a tangled mess of hair yet, but I know when we do it will be so hard to see those locks go. I just commented on how routines can change and I miss them. I understand how you would miss this…and look forward to it returning.

  8. What can I say? I’m so glad it is March because, man, did I miss this. Come on. This Slice is perfection. You can’t beat this one. Call it quits. You’re done.

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