It’s Just A Haircut

28 Aug

The PeklachIt was E’s upsherin on Sunday, and I still can’t stop looking at him. My son is transformed into a new person it seems. Until of course he opens his mouth and as my grandmother said you’d realize he’s “still the same brat”. But such a cute brat. Now that his distractive (and so beautiful) hair is gone, I’m drawn to his eyes. They are soulful. Wide, asking, deep, framed by long lashes, they are the entrance to his soul and world. And I think he’s gotten more mature. Even if I know that that’s all in my head – maybe it’ll turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Cutting his hair was very difficult for me. I was surprised, considering that I hadn’t wanted to leave his hair uncut and do the whole upsherin thing in the first place. But it wasn’t about the hair, it was about the person I knew to be my child. This is a transformative haircut. E doesn’t look like anything I know. I couldn’t even imagine what he’d look like afterward. While they cut his hair, yes, we all laughed that it was a shame for such beautiful hair to be wasted on a boy, but I preoccupied myself with taking pictures the whole time, lest the tears on the edge of my eyes break free of the rim. I did feel like I was losing my child as I knew him. And even though I know it’s the same E, with his finitive language, and inquisitive nature, on Sunday, he was a different person.

There we two moments where it crystallized and I had to turn my face away from the crowd. One, after all the men took their turn snipping off locks of hair, I stood in the back and looked at his hacked hair, and a loud flashing sign in my head read “It’s OVER. This stage is over”.

Naturally there’s a gradually passing from one stage of life to another, a shade of gray, or green, where the red and blue are changing, a mixing of the colors, with the shades starting lighter, fading into on another and gradually being completely transformative in hindsight. It happened in a moment here. It was hard.

And then about a minute into the real haircut, my mother in law (also the barber in this case) had trimmed away enough so you could see the curve and actual shape of the back of E’s head. It was so round and perfect. And I thought, I don’t this part of my son. I don’t know this boy.

Now of course logically, I recognize that he is the same exact person he was the day before, sans hair. He still manipulated his toilet training to get more candy, he still jumps off any surface possible, and still speaks in finite terms of, can’t and need. But he looks so different. So beautiful, yes. But so different than the child I know, that I can’t help but feel I need to get to know him all over again.


Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Jewish, Musings


Tags: , , , , , ,

3 responses to “It’s Just A Haircut

  1. Princess Lea

    August 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

    My nephew had his upsherin this past week, too. His birthday was actually in July, but my sister-in-law kept pushing off the haircut.

    The child does realize a change. After years of being in long hair, and never getting haircuts like Tatty does, they do sit a little straighter with the big-boy hair.

    But then . . . they come back. They’re the same tzigayn, gozember, “bret” (Roll the “r”).

  2. Sun inside Rain

    August 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I totally understand. I mean, a child is probably a bigger deal but I always get emotional at my nephews’ upsherin. It’s a milestone of sorts….. Wishing you many more happy milestones and loads of nachas from him.

    • TooYoungToTeach

      September 1, 2013 at 11:23 am

      PL: Yup, still the same “bret” (don’t have to tell me to roll the ‘r’, I have some heimeshe blood)…woke up today to the smell of baby powder, my 3 year old and 1 year old aged 50 years…such fun…

      SiN: Thanks 🙂


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