Its 4:11pm, I’ve completely sweated through my t-shirt, I’m having stomach cramps and I can’t tell if I’m going to laugh, cry or pee my pants. It sounds like I’m going into labor or something, right? No. I’m just getting over a traumatic experience. This is the text that I sent at 3:41pm to my oldest sister. “I screwed up big time today, please don’t be irritated at me.”
Let me start at the beginning (which began at 3:06pm) when I picked up my oldest nephew from school today. Isla and I pulled up out front and I watched as my cute little baby (I’ll always think of him as my first baby) saw my car, grabbed the straps of his backpack and started running to us. He hopped in and I asked him how his day went. “Good.” He said.
Ok, I’m going to fill you in on a few things, a couple about my boy and a couple about middle school in 2017. My boy is the sweetest, nicest boy that ever graced the age of 13. He’s not a dork, he’s a pretty good athlete and has a lot of friends, but he is sensitive and so genuinely nice, which can sometimes be a little difficult for him. “Why?” you might wonder. Because middle school is still the same. There are still mean kids and nice kids and cool kids and kids that are obsessed with horses and therefore not so cool. My boy is still pretty young on the middle school spectrum of innocence and he sometimes has a hard time understanding why kids do and say the things that they do. I’m not claiming that he’s perfect, he can have an attitude and press his mom’s (my sister’s) buttons, but he is unfailingly kind, and sometimes that is hard.
Here is the perfect example. My boy has thick hair and it’s kind of hard to do anything with, but like every other boy he has ideas of what he would like it to look like. For probably the past 3 or 4 years, my two sisters, my mom and I have been trying to figure out how he is supposed to do his hair. It’s really thick so it kind of sticks out when you cut it short and it kind of sticks out when you grow it longer. We’ve been using Pinterest to send pictures to each other of teenage boys with his hair type. Our Pinterest boards are full of country style home décor and pictures of Zac Efron, it’s actually kind of embarrassing.
So, today when my boy hopped in my car, he told me that he “kind of wanted to get the sides of his hair trimmed,” (because they stick out). I instantly told him I would do it. He thought about it for a second, thought maybe he would wait, changed his mind and then told me he wanted me to do it. I’ve cut his hair before, lots of times. In fact, I gave him his first haircut. But I don’t do it as much anymore because a boy’s hair in middle school is important. It’s sort of all they’ve got to work with so my sister sends him to the local barber.
Now, the beginning of this problem started because I thought I could actually do it. But the thing is, I can usually sort-of-at-least-kind-of do most things. If you want a sign made, I can draw it. If you need a good running partner, I’m your gal. Need someone to sew you a set of cloth napkins? I’ll have them made in 20 minutes. I can sort of do a lot of things, which doesn’t mean that I can ACTUALLY DO a lot of things. What I learned today, is that just sort of being able to do something doesn’t mean that you should.
We got home, my boy sat on the stool and I pulled out my husband’s hair trimmer which I use to cut his hair. I always cut his hair, he hasn’t paid for a hair cut in ten years, which is why I thought I could do this. And this is exactly the moment where I wish I had a friend at my side that could have pulled a lever that would have sent me flying down the block and broken an arm so I couldn’t have gone any further. But I didn’t, (shed a tear for me in advance).
I tried the #3 guard but it didn’t even touch his blonde hair. I was looking for the #2, but he just kept saying that he was pretty sure they used a #1, so I grabbed it and popped it on. Danny’s trimmer is a little old and a little crooked so I noticed that it might be a little short on one side of the blade, but I always do Danny’s hair and it turns out good so I thought it must not matter.
I made the first cut. Then it began, or ended, depending on how you look at it. The very first cut was so stinkin’ short it made him a little bald in one small spot. My eyes bulged out of my head. I made another swipe, because I had committed, and almost died. Then I had to keep going because I didn’t know what else to do. I just cut around the bottom half of his head, then tried to fix it, then tried again, then realized I couldn’t fix it.
He looked in the mirror, we both did this weird hysterical whimper/laugh thing and looked at each other. I tried to fix it again. He was so horribly nice and smiled at me. I was worried he might cry. “Oh my god,” I stared at my cute boy. “Get your shirt on, were going to the barber shop.”
He, Isla and I ran to the car. I texted my middle sister to go pick up the other 2 boys from school in 15 minutes, I didn’t have time. The conversation went like this, word for word (I’m looking at my phone now):
Me: 3:30pm “I just disaster cut his hair and now I’m taking him to Tom’s barbershop for an emergency fix”
Me: 3:30pm “Emergency!”
Me: 3:36pm “Oh my God I’m going to cry”
Linds: 3:40pm “Oh no what did you do”
Linds: 3:41pm “I’m sure it’s not that bad”
She had no idea.
On the way to the barbershop my boy put the hood of his sweatshirt up. I told him it would be OK no matter what, that they would be able to fix it. He told me that he might just wear a hat to school tomorrow, especially if he had to get it cut shorter, which I knew they would have to in order to fix the horrible mess I had made. I asked why he didn’t want short hair and he told me that his friends would tease him. That if he wore a hat they would probably just pull it off. I told him that he was so handsome and good looking and everything would be fine if he would just “own it.” That no one would tease him if he acted like he didn’t care.
I felt like such a pathetic, hypocrite for saying those words, the ones that are so much easier said than done. Telling a middle schooler to just rock a horrible haircut is bad….and sad….and just doesn’t work. But he just smiled at me. So then I did another bad thing, I went into crazy aunt mode where I said a bunch of things I shouldn’t have said about other stupid middle school boys that would tease someone for their haircut. How that made them pathetic, etc., etc, etc. Not my best moment, especially on the day I turn 32. I’m sorry.
We walked into Tom’s, he with his hood up and me trailing with my little girl. When he took his hood off the barber actually gasped, no joke, and said, “What happened?”
“Oh you know, haha,” I rushed him to the seat, “he just needs you to fix it.” The two hairdressers exchanged looks. “Just fix it,” I added. “Please,” I looked at them both, “just fix it.”
The lady got started and the other stylist looked at me and asked, “Who did that to him?”
“His friend’s mom.” I didn’t even blush. I. Just. Couldn’t.
My boy looked at me and smirked.
Thank God the lady worked a miracle. It’s shorter than he would have wanted but I swear, if you could have seen what I did to him, you would know that those ladies at Tom’s Barbershop are hair geniuses. I stood nearby him, hovering over my little 7th grader, giving him the thumbs up and telling him he looked like a 9th grader with his new do.
When it was all over I gave the lady a huge tip, honestly I would have tipped her my car if I didn’t need it to get to work tomorrow. We walked outside and my boy turned to me and said, “Well, I guess we learned a life lesson today.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked.
“Yeah. Just go to the hair cutting place when you want a haircut.”
I swooned. This boy is smart and nice and totally handsome. And he’s right, we did learn an important lesson, I should never, I repeat never, cut another person’s hair in my entire life.
P.S. I just talked to my sister, who had talked to her son. She told him she was really proud of him for handling the haircut the way he did because I had felt so bad about what I had done to him. He said, “Oh, I feel really bad that she feels bad.” See, I told you he was that nice.
❤ A lucky aunt that gives HORRIBLE haircuts
P.P.S. There are no photos for this post, I just couldn’t document this one. They say that whatever you put on the internet stays there forever and I just couldn’t do that to him.