He didn’t give me time to adjust the lighting. I wanted the moment to be captured. Surely with a photo, but maybe even on video. I wanted to make sure everyone saw how bravely he took the clippers to his gorgeous blonde locks. I wanted to be positive that we had this moment just for us, because I knew already that too many other moments would be lost to cancer. But he didn’t give me the time, the pause. I barely had a towel around his body and the camera ready and he was already mid buzz. No before picture.
I didn’t have time to say good-bye. Which is dumb because how do you say good-bye to hair. I’m not sure, but I still feel robbed.
But while I am getting emotional about Beaudin’s hair it’s worth noting that we, and by ‘we’ I mean his hair and myself, have always had a love/hate relationship.
Beau has Burnett hair: thick as you can imagine, lush. With more cowlicks than you can make sense of. Stick straight, but gorgeous. High lights that make grown women green with envy. For years I have been trying to understand what exactly to do with his head of hair. Buzzed short, near translucent, I was always concerned it gave the illusion that he was bald (which feels ironic now.) But the buzz cut did solve the cowlick issue and made getting ready quick and easy.
On and off for 6 years I have tried to accomplish a standard looking men’s haircut: short of the sides, some length on the top. It wasn’t working. All the cowlicks in the back made all the hair around the crown stick straight out and thus disheveled was a norm. So I’d buzz it, then wait years for it to grow to a length where the weight held down the cowlicks.
Close friends would ask, “What is going on with Beau’s hair?” and strangers would look at me with eyes that communicated, “Poor boy, mom won’t even get him a haircut.”
But eventually we figured it out. We mastered his head of hair. I mean, Sweet Jesus, you cannot get more precious than his Beiber swept bangs. Just look at how those precious blonde locks slid gently over his forehead on the 1st day of Kindergarten last fall.
I like to think I would have had some parting words for Beau’s hair. That if he had given me a little bit more time I would have made amends for all the times I cursed it for being unruly and threatened to buzz it for making us late for school. I would have told his hair that I’d miss it, that it was hard to say good-bye in this way. But Beau was ready and rushed in rushed in to forever, waiting for no one.