Tooth Fairies, Placental Guilt & Dorothy Hamill

My youngest son Nic will sit for his senior portrait tomorrow, and last week he asked me if he could get his haircut a few days before the pictures, because he wanted a chance for his hair to grow, and not look so freshly coiffed.

Wow, I thought to myself, he is really growing up. And then, the guilt set in. Every mother has it; it’s the guilt that you birth, along with the baby, and the placenta. Have I done enough for him? Have I been present enough in his life? Did I hug him enough? Did we create enough happy memories? Will he remember the time I forgot to play the Tooth Fairy, and he slept with his tooth for a week?

And then I got over it, and I asked him if I could cut his hair.

Uh. No Mom.

“Oh, come on Nic. Let me cut it. Please? I’ll get the dog clippers.”

Nic took a long drink of chocolate milk so he couldn’t laugh.

“Think about it Nic. If I messed up your hair, at least you could always look back at your Senior Portrait and know your mother loved you. And she tried. She really tried. Oh Nic, just think about the memories!”

Nic, tried so hard not to laugh, he snorted chocolate milk through his nose.

And last Friday afternoon, Nic went by himself to get his hair cut by some random beginner, at one of those coupon-mill-style haircut places, next door to the Winn Dixie.

I didn’t notice Nic’s haircut until the next day.

“Oh my God Nic, your hair looks like an old lady’s wig! Did you let the girl finish? Did you tell the stylist you wanted a Dorothy Hamill haircut? Holy crap!”

Uh, Mom, who is Dorothy Hamill? And yes, I let her finish. You know, you’re really doing a number on my self-esteem here.

“Oh geez. Sorry Nic. Well, don’t worry, we will get Ms. Tanya to fix it on Monday. Until then, wear a hat.”


And then I felt guilty again. I should have went with Nic to get his haircut, even though he would have been mortified because he likes to pretend he was hatched from an egg, and he doesn’t have a mother.

Nic has always pretended to be motherless. Nic is a quiet kid, like his Dad. And well, I’m un-quiet. Once, when Nic was in the first grade, he told his teacher, his mother was in Iraq. And when Nic got home from school that day, I found a note from his teacher addressed to Hubs: Nic said his mom was in Iraq, and I just wanted to let you know about the family support groups available… I’m not kidding. I wasn’t even out of town.

But I should have gone with Nic to get his haircut anyway. Or at least I should have made a point to notice his new haircut on Friday, when there was still time to fix it. Or I should have taken him to my stylist, Tanya, even if he went kicking and screaming.

Will he remember the time he wore The Dorothy Hamill Wedge for a weekend?


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