We have three boys, each with their own vibrant personalities and habits. As the days get shorter they start to spend more and more time indoors, bored. I try spending time with them whenever I get a chance but it’s not always easy finding a happy medium with all three. In a nutshell, I’ve got a thinker, an explorer/dreamer, and a how much trouble can I get into before someone catches me child. In each I see myself looking back at me. Many times I marvel at this fact and still there are those times where it’s down right frightening. Jenny usually makes the connection to this truth long before I do. I’m in denial.
This past weekend was beautiful and for late October temperatures were practically shorts weather. My legs usually take on a light bluish color before I relegate the shorts to the summer clothes drawer so this particular day was a bonus.
As Sunday drew to a close I couldn’t give up the day without going for a short run. As many of you know I’m a runner. I love to run and will do so at any opportunity given. One of the greatest pleasures in a runner’s life is being able to run with your children. I remember when I did my first ultramarathon my family met me at several of the aid stations. At one particular aid station, Ethan had asked if he could run with me for a while. A while ended up being only a couple hundred yards.
“I’m going to be a runner like you Dad!” he said with pride before calling it a day.
Since that time we’ve run on several occasions including our first 5K together. On Sunday I asked if he wanted to go for another run and as always he said, “Sure!”
Conversation is always light but that’s okay. Ethan always highlights the week’s events which are usually activity based and rarely informative of his academics.
“I’m second fastest in my class” he tells me with pride.
Our runs are usually interspersed with walks and only last about a half an hour but the quality carries on for the rest of the day.
Ah yes, the rest of the day. As I mentioned before I have three boys. In the time that I wasn’t watching over them directly my youngest had decided that his bangs were bugging him. So he cut them. Short!
Okay let me give you just a little background. I cut my own hair. I’ve cut my own hair for about twenty years now. I can’t be bothered with style and the other frivolous things that go along with it. If I make a mistake, gel can usually cover it up until it grows out a bit. It’s no big deal. My kids have seen me cut my hair on numerous occasions. Fade to black.
“Honey, did you see what Owen did to his hair while you were supposed to be watching him!” ,my wife says in a somewhat frustrated tone.
“Yes, I did!”
“Are you going to say something to him?”
“Owen, come here!”
Owen walks into the room. His head hung low. His bangs resemble something of a semi-circle or maybe a bent sickle I can’t be sure. It took everything I had not to laugh or crack a smile.
“Owen, did you cut your hair?” I said with the sternest face I had. And yet still a sense of pride was welling up inside me. Just like me my boy had cut his own hair. Free from style conscience masses that dictate what hair should look like. Free from the fashion police that draw the solid black line between what is in and what is out.
Dejected, he nods.
All I could muster was “Owen, don’t do it again.”
The resemblance was uncanny. In fact it was frightening.