You may have noticed that Elliott got a haircut recently. Elliott is no stranger to haircuts; he's gotten one every few months since he was one year old by a friend of ours that also cuts Taylor's hair. Taylor would often take Elliott along with him for that rite of passage trip to the barber, father and son. I don't know why, but last time Taylor went he left Elliott at home. Elliott's hair had started to look shaggy as a result. I know some folks love a baby in baby curls, and I do to a point as well. But having seen how handsome a little boy, my Elliott especially, can be after a good haircut, I started to toy with the idea of doing it myself. My mind kept going back to this picture we had on our mantle of my father-in-law as a little boy, getting his hair cut by his dad in their front yard. Somehow this convinced me that decades ago, all parents cut their kids hair. I pictured it to be this monthly ritual; every fourth Saturday these so-called fathers of the 1950's would get their clippers out and sit their sons in a chair. It was all business, brief conversations about the pretty girls at school or hunting rabbits (at least, this is how I picture it), while dad works his magic with a no-nonsense cut. After fantasizing about this for a while, I mentioned to Taylor that I'd like to cut Elliott's hair. I picked at the idea like a scab until finally he agreed, with one caveat: he would cut Elliott's hair, not me. I would simply oversee the whole process.
So, we plopped Elliott into the highchair and got out the clippers. Taylor started cutting the curls down with scissors, very tentatively. I fed Elliott Teddy Grahams & Goldfish crackers to keep him still, all while I encouraged Taylor to keep cutting. A little more here, higher in the back. Keep cutting! He admitted about halfway through he didn't know what he was doing, but he kept going as I coached, fed, and kept a crying one year old girl out of the kitchen. Near the end, Elliott started picking up crumbs off the tray and picking up hairs along with it, getting hair in his mouth. Actually, there was hair all over the kitchen. It was quite an ordeal, especially when I ran out of snacks. Hence, the sad face.
Taylor kept going at my encouragement though. After a lot of discussion about what to do, leave the top alone, cut the back and sides, attempt a fade. Once we happened upon the finished cut, I stood amazed at my little boy. He looked so handsome, and for a person with no hair-cutting skills, Taylor did a fine job. And while Taylor credited me with helping, I couldn't help but give it all back. It was all Taylor, taking part in that all-important ritual, decades old ritual: father, son, and a haircut.