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Is It That Time Again?
Yesterday, I looked around the breakfast table and admired the hair styles the boys had. They are supposed to brush their hair and get dressed before breakfast, but from the looks of things, I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen. One of them had brushed his hair, one of them had slicked his hair down in an attempt to make it look neat, and the other boys had worked so hard on their styles all night, that they apparently didn’t want to change it just yet. Wow, their hair grows so fast, I can’t believe it’s time to cut it again already! I usually put off cutting their hair as long as I can, since I don’t really know much about cutting hair and it isn’t something I really enjoy doing.

This morning, as they said good morning, I realized it can’t wait another day…today will be the day. So we took the stool and box of hair cutting supplies to my bathroom and got started. Today’s routine started much differently than usual because my oldest son asked me to cut his hair again. Boy was I nervous! I hadn’t cut his super thick hair in years! It’s one thing to cut the younger boys, but he has a job and is up in front of people every day. I would hate to mess it up. However, the last cut he paid for was enough to inspire me to try it again. I’m honored that he trusts me enough to let me cut it!

This is What I’m Working With!
My youngest kept coming in eagerly awaiting his turn. I usually wait to do his until I have built a little confidence up, and more importantly, I wait until my husband can come and be my set of vise grips by holding the lad’s head still in his strong hands. However, I didn’t need the vise grips, he held still- well still for him! Usually he wears the animal cape and we talk about the different kinds of animals, which one is his favorite and what he wants to hunt when he gets older, but today he was ready for the plain black cape without pictures. My baby isn’t a baby! The biggest shock was that he didn’t even ask for the sucker that is his usual reward for sitting still…which is a good thing because we don’t have any!

Next, Please
Next in line was my little guy that likes to play barber shop, the routine is always the same. So I start in the usual manner, “Hello, Sir, I haven’t seen you in a while. How have you been doing?” Usually, he goes on to tell me about his make believe family and all of their adventures, he goes on for the duration of the hair cut…but not this time. Instead, he told me he didn’t really want to play “Sir,” instead he wanted to tell me about the hunting adventures and the conversations he had had with his grandfather while going hunting. He talked with such enthusiasm, that I had to postpone part of the conversation for a time when I didn’t have scissors in such close proximity to his head. He talked as much as usual, but this time it was real stories from a little boy that is getting too big to play make believe with his mom!

The last three were more the norm than the first two. Mr. Silent sat still and watched as I cut his hair shorter than he wanted it, but never complained. We just enjoyed being together in a comfortable silence. I asked if everything was okay in his life and he said yes. That was about all the conversation we had, except the, “Thanks, I love you Mom,” as he left the room. My inquisitive one asked lots of questions as I worked on his hair- where did you learn to cut hair, why do you use thinning shears on me now, how come…..? I didn’t exactly tell him that I don’t really know how to cut hair, but I am learning and he and his brothers are my guinea pigs!

Finally, in came the one that I always save for last, because his hair is the easiest for me to cut, and it’s a good head to finish on. He was so full of excitement about a trip he is going on with his grandfather and brothers that he could hardly hold still. We had a wonderful talk about the trip, about the events they had planned and he even asked me for advice on how to handle a particular challenge he faces. What a delightful note to end on!

Forget the Savings!
As I was finishing up, I thought with a sense of delight how much money I saved, even if it took two hours of my time. Then as I thought of the long talks, the comfortable silences, the games played, the secrets shared and so many other wonderful moments shared during haircuts, the truth hit me. I realized that if I never saved a dime cutting their hair, I wouldn’t trade those times for anything, it is two hours well invested! I enjoy that time with my boys, I enjoy cutting their hair and seeing the transformation, both in their hair and in their lives as they outgrow one thing and grow into another!


Do you ever find yourself repeating everything you say?
I read a friend’s Facebook post about how she is constantly repeating the same words of correction to her little ones and it brought back some funny memories. My favorite one is of a time that I took the children to a restaurant. Jonathan was still small enough to sit in a high chair and was not yet talking, but Caleb, the next one up was big enough to speak fairly clearly. Oh my, that brings up another, funny but embarrassing memory! Hmm, shall I share that one or not…I can’t decide. Anyway, back to the first flashback in time that prompted this jaunt down memory lane. We were sitting in the restaurant enjoying our meal and the waitress came over to speak to us. She commented on the children being well behaved and was trying to engage Jonathan’s attention. He just watched her as she said the things people say to little ones that can’t talk back. Then she asked him what his name was and since he couldn’t answer, Caleb jumped in the conversation. “His name is Jonathan No-No, and I am Caleb Benjamin Stop-It!” We all just stared at him for a second; I am not sure if he actually repeated it or if it was his words echoing inside my head…” Jonathan No-No, and Caleb Benjamin Stop-It, …Jonathan No-No, and Caleb Benjamin Stop-It!” My initial reaction was to be embarrassed, but then we all got tickled at the realization that Caleb was indeed correct- we all uttered those words countless times a day. It was just the stage of life they were in and it seemed the natural response to the situations that arose. I will confess that I was a bit dismayed that they heard it often enough to think it was part of their name!

Where has the time gone?
That seems like so long ago, especially now that we don’t have any toddlers that need that constant supervision and correction. It has only been a couple of years since we were in that stage with our youngest and I can clearly remember wondering if I would ever get to the stage when I could have a conversation without every other sentence being aimed at a misbehaving or straying toddler. Will I constantly be examining the contents of tiny, tightly clenched fists, or sticking my finger in someone else’s mouth to swipe from side to side in search of inedible contents? Not that these things are bad or that I minded doing them, it just seemed that these small interruptions distracted from the meaningful conversation I was trying to have with my husband or my older children. So here we are, our baby is six, and we haven’t had to stick our finger in his mouth in years, or change a diaper, and guess what…I really do miss it! I miss the joy of watching them experience things for the first time in their little lives, the wonder with which they approach everything! I miss not having a little one crawl up in my lap when they get tired or just need the reassurance that mom is there for them. And believe it or not, even though we have passed the stage of toddler interruptions, life and conversations do not take place without interruption! The phone rings, someone needs assistance with something, visitors drop in. Life keeps coming at you, perhaps the interruptions come in different shapes and forms, but they still cause distractions.

The seasons of life change so quickly!
Enjoy the season you are in to the fullest, because it truly won’t last forever. They really do outgrow the stage of blurting out those embarrassing things that only a child could get by with saying. Oh yeah, that other story! I think I will have to wait on that one, I’m not sure I am ready to share that one with the world. After all, the girl in the peach tank top that one of my children accused of not having a shirt on might read this someday! Remember, those Caleb Benjamin Stop-It’s and the Jonathan No-No’s grow up quickly, and as they grow into fine young people, you’ll be glad that you took the time to shape and mold them with those words of correction!

Surely I am not the only that has been publicly exposed by my children, I’d love to hear your experience!


Finally!  Our blog is actually beginning to take shape!  I’m beginning to think that of all the projects we have tackled so far, this may well be the most difficult.  Our family is so not technically inclined…But we shall persevere, and I feel confident that before too awfully long (I hope) we’ll actually figure out what we’re doing!