Do You Like My Haircut?
When Dylan was 3 years old, he would occasionally lament: “I wish I was a girl.” At first, I wrote it off. Then I thought, Gee, maybe he really wants to be a girl. Finally, after several months, I asked him directly.
“Why do you want to be a girl, Dylan?”
“I want my hair to be like that,” he said.
“You want to have long hair?” I asked, both relieved and incredulous.
“I would like that,” he said. At 3, he thought only girls had long hair.
“Okay then,” I said, “you can grow your hair long.” And so he did.
His hair grew very long. He was mistaken for a girl nearly everywhere we went – and the mistakes went on for years. He would laugh it off, his long, wavy, reddish-blonde hair falling into his face as he laughed, “I’m a boy!”
About six years later, when we walked into the middle school GT/LD classroom, it was full of boys – all but one with long hair. Long hair wasn’t in or out, really – but in that classroom full of 6th graders who all had issues similar to my son’s, it was an anomaly. One boy had a crew cut. All the rest had long, flowing hair.
A few more years have passed since then. Dylan’s proven himself to be somewhat of a rock star at his school – although singing Italian opera is a bit classier than being a rock star. His hair always stood out in a crowd, and he was easy to find. The color helped – but the length really stood out.
But something happened in the past week – and Dylan decided to cut his hair.
It happened on International Night, he told me, the night he sang O Mio Babbino Caro in front of a couple hundred people, including many of his peers.
“I was just standing in front of the mirror and I thought, I really need a haircut.”
And a few days later, when we got to the stylist, he chose short hair. It’s long in the front, but a good inch or two is showing on his neck – a neck I haven’t seen on a dry day in many years.
He looks awesome. I’ve always loved long hair, but his new, short haircut is great.
For the past year, Dylan was forced to pull back his hair for every concert with the Children’s Chorus of Washington – a prestigious, uniformed choir that accosted Dylan with bobby pins in spite of his protests.
“Here’s the real test,” Dylan said to me today. “Would I have to pull back my hair for CCW?”
I studied him thoughtfully. His hair is a longish style, but there is nothing to pull back.
“Nope,” I said.
“Then I really do look like a boy,” he said. He smiled triumphantly and walked away – my son, the boy.