I never thought I’d find myself mourning a mullet, but last week, that’s exactly what happened.
My sweet baby A had a fair amount of hair when he was born, and like most babies, he lost it (starting with an epic bald spot on the back of his head) as he got older. Or at least, he lost most of it.
Along the edges, his newborn hair held on, and as the rest of his hair grew in, things just got ... unruly. Combed forward, parts were nearly an inch longer than the rest, but with no regularity. This usually blended in, though, unless too much food was applied to his 'do.
In the back, the whirliest part of his whirl got longer and longer, hanging over the back of his head, which had the shortest regrowth, kind of covering his baby bald spot, even when he wasn't technically bald there anymore.
And at the nape, it grew and grew -- baby in the back, big boy in the front.
I knew it wouldn’t last, and at bedtime, as he grabbed a lock of my hair to twirl as he drifted off, I often found myself with a lock of his unimaginably soft baby mullet wrapped around my finger, too.
After all, I was already wrapped around his finger, literally and figuratively.
After a while, people started assuming he was a girl, even with his dad’s countenance right there on his own face -- even if he was wearing one of those overly gender-defining “COOL DUDE” or “100% BOY” shirts.
But I didn’t care. That wasn’t the tipping point.
That was when, at bathtime, all that fine baby hair lumped together and started to look like a giant rat-tail.
A mullet I could deal with, but a rat-tail? I lived through that era non-ironically, and that was enough for me. That’s when I knew it was time for The First Cut.
So on Friday, off we went, to an adorable place with racecar chairs for the kids, and off went the baby mullet, with a lock of it saved in a little baggie for me.
With that quick trim, my baby boy is transformed, less baby, more boy. His features are emphasized in a totally different way -- his face seems more grown-up, but I think it’s just that his cheeks and ears are more noticeable without the wisps surrounding them. Where he seemed all eyes before, now his face seems more balanced, more developed.
He still grabs my hair at bedtime, and I pat his sweet head, realizing it’s the baby stage I’m missing, not the mullet, as my littlest (and last) guy takes another incremental step from babyhood to boyhood.
It was just a haircut, but the first cut is the deepest, even though I know that’s not what they were talking about when they wrote that song.