Cristian’s Latest First

IMG_4553Anticipating your baby’s firsts is a big part of a new parent’s life. First, tooth, first word, first step were equally important to both of us, First Halloween was more exciting for her than me, his first trip to Hooters was more exciting for me than her.  Sunday afternoon Cristian had his latest first—his first haircut.

Over the past months I learned men and women place different levels of importance on hair length and style.  I had no idea Cristian’s curly locks were so important to so many—how naive I was.

During Esther’s pregnancy, we spent months discussing our unborn child’s hair the same way the Democratic and Republican Campaigns plan Presidential Debates.  It was second only to agreeing on his name.

Cristian's Bird Nest
Cristian’s Bird Nest

I’ve had short hair most of my life, except for a brief mullet flirtation in the early 90s.  Not my best look but the 90s won’t be remembered as a great style decade. Esther didn’t want her son wearing a buzz cut.  I was ok with that but worried after seeing a younger cousin or two sporting Prince Valliant haircuts.  Worried about the taunts and wedgees my unborn son would endure, we negotiated.

Esther and I agreed on a length somewhere in the middle, proving communication works and saving me the stress of having a barber shave the baby’s head while she was at work.  I thought it was the end of it.  Silly me.

When I was a kid, Dad cut our hair on Sunday mornings while Mom made breakfast and Abbott and Costello movies played in the background.  The long process resulted in a buzz cut—a crooked one if we turned our head or sneezed.

Cristian’s long curly hair is the envy of balding men everywhere, we’re not talking Sasquatch but he wasn’t cheated on hair.  Mom naturally assumed we’d have buzzed him long ago.  Breaking it to her gently—again and again, I told her it just wasn’t happening.  His size and curly hair made him a natural Baby Superman—we waited until after Halloween before cutting his hair—we even picked the barber.

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Cristian showing off his new do.
Cristian showing off his new do.

Our next-door neighbor for the past forty years is a charming Italian gentleman named Franco. For years Dad helped him with household projects and he cut our hair, retiring Dad’s scissors once and for all.  The fee for these projects was a bottle of wine.

Sunday afternoon Franco brought his scissors for the long-awaited haircut.  Sure there was some crying and carrying on, but before long, Esther was ok.  She played with the baby distracting him while Franco worked his magic.

For me it was more déjà vu (see my last post) Cristian is the third generation whose hair Franco cut.  After he left, with the bottle of wine and picture of Cristian, I reflected on the day.  I guess this first meant more to me than I thought it would.

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