I think most of you know I'm a boy only mama, but for those of you who don't know, I have two pretty cool dudes, ages 15 and 8. Both of my boys like to keep their hair kind of long, but my youngest has a goal to grow his hair as long as humanly possible without giving me a heart attack.
We're beginning to run into the hair being an issue in public. Complete strangers mistake him for a girl all.the.time. The first time it happened I was a little taken back, but it's been so many times since that I'm used to it by now. Still, I won't make him cut it.
"When you gonna cut that hair?", seems to be the question people ask little boys with long hair, but he holds on hard to his resolve and won't give into the comments. This boy loves his hair.
I feel like some people wonder why I let him keep it so long. After they make comments to him they usually look up at me, the parent. I usually just shrug and say, "He likes it!". I know plenty of moms close to me that wouldn't allow this length for their own boys, and I don't think people always get it when it comes to why I let my son have long hair.
Back last January, I talked him into cutting his hair and it didn't turn out so great.
I had become one of those mothers who nagged her son about cutting his hair so much that he finally broke down and listened to me. I was always trying to talk him into something shorter. Something more "clean cut". I had never intended on becoming this mother, but it happened. I cared what other people thought about me based on my kid's hair style.
I didn't want him running around looking like a hooligan. Yes, I just used the word hooligan. So, I convinced him to cut it. I didn't take him kicking or screaming or anything. He actually wanted the hair cut in the moment, but in hind sight, I know it was only to make me happy.
I knew as soon as we got in the car and started for home that I had made a huge mistake. I could see the uncertainty wash over his face in my rear view mirror, and even though I knew I was wrong, I tried to pretend it was no big deal. "It's just hair, honey. It will grow back in no time!"
Once the reality of the hair cut sunk in, he was devastated. He cried himself to sleep that night and spent most of the next day in tears. It wasn't a whining thing, either. He was truly heartbroken, and I was ashamed of myself.
Sad is not this kid. He wears a smile on his face at all times. He's full of life and energy! He's an artist at heart and lives to express himself. He never stops talking, moving, thinking, or doing. He wears me out most days, but he's so full of life that he lights up a room!
He is never sad.
He has always had a natural confidence and has never cared what other people think. Ever. Even when it's the girl toy at McDonald's or a hot pink T-ball bat, he does not care if it's not the norm.
Until of course, people like me and the rest of the world start breaking him down by making him feel like he can't express himself with a simple hair style.
I won't be that mom again.
If I don't let him express himself now, can you imagine what kind of challenge this could be in future? It won't be hair, either. It will be something that's actually important. He's got a little bit of a rebellious streak. He likes to go his own way. I should be molding and shaping him, not stifling him.
Sure, maybe this all sounds a bit dramatic. Some people would say it's just a hair cut, but for a few days after I took him for that cut, he wasn't the same. He lost a little bit of his spunk and smile and it was all my fault.
It's not just a hair cut. Not to him.
In that moment I knew I would never talk him into cutting his hair every again. I even promised him that he could grow it as long as he wants. Lord, help me. I told him I saw how much it meant to him and promised to let him be about it in the future.
That was last January.
What's your take on boys and long hair?
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