A few weeks ago, Mac and I discussed what to do with Nixon's hair. It was growing long again and it turns out, he's got some thick and curly hair (like mine) which does not handle the humidity of the island very well. His whole head sweats, pretty much within minutes of being outside. His hair starts to curl in the back and the summer was only beginning to get hot. I had wanted to let it grow out. But, once again, I agreed to let Mac make a parenting call when he suggested we take Nixon for a REAL haircut this week. I knew it was in Nixon's best interest, because going from hot outside to cool inside with wet hair was only begging for him to get sick at some point...but I hated how freaking upset he got last time we took him to get his haircut.
So, yesterday during his nap, I snuck out and hit the store. I bought: 2 brand new Cars 2 shirts for him (1 that he'd get to choose and wear to his haircut in the morning), 3 new toy cars and a bag of candy he'd never had before but that I deemed safe enough for him to have. The toys and candy got put into his new backpack (which he likes) and the shirts hidden until this morning. Now, to some it sounds like I spoil Nixon, but after his meltdown last time we got his hair cut at the barber shop and how much LOUDER he's gotten in the months since, I prefer to think of it as well-prepared.
This morning Mac came home from work (he had a quick trip in for awards and the usual bullshit waste of an hour plus drive time), we all got ready and off we went. Nixon was excited to see his new tee shirts and got dressed with little fight. A couple pieces of candy got Nixon into the barber shop and the new cars kept him occupied while we waited for a chair to open for him. (Well, we did have one time out in the hallway because he got loud and wouldn't calm down, but it wasn't too bad and it was only once).
Nixon sat on my lap, with his new truck in his hand and accepted pieces of candy from Mac occasionally while getting his haircut. He didn't cry, or squirm (too much), or yell. He sat quietly and played with his truck and watched in the mirror as his hair was cut. He watched it pile up on the smock around him and on the floor at his feet. He was amazing! I'd ask him "You okay Nix?" and he'd reply "yeah I okay".
Then I looked in the mirror.
I saw me and I saw a child that might have been Nixon on my lap, except he looked much older than Nixon. My baby was gone. In his place was a grown child.
Nixon was done. He said "arigato" and gave the woman who cut his hair a tip. She squeezed my arm and said "okay momma?". I said "sure" and smiled. It wasn't until we were walking down the area outside of the barber shop, Mac next to me Nixon happily taking off a little ahead of us, that I felt the tears welling up! He looked too old! Too grown up! Too....not my baby anymore.
Nixon reminded me of someone, with his new short haircut, but I couldn't place it. Not until we got home and I was playing with the pictures I'd taken for this blog. He looks very similar to my nephew Adam, the last time I saw him. Adam was 4.5 when I saw him last and his hair was cut like Nixon's is now. There's a very strong family resemblance between the two, I can see it now. It made me miss Adam (who's with his father out of state, not deceased, just to clear any confusion up), but it also made me see Nixon as a little kid and not just my baby.
And now....... the pictures!!
Mac asked Nixon where his hair was, during a diaper change. Nixon's response?? "Hair gone". That it is, my friend, that it is.