The Most Super of Cuts

November 26, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Four weeks ago, my oldest son Blue had his bar mitzvah. If you’ve been through this with your child, you’ll surely recall the pride you felt as you watched him in his shining moment. If you haven’t, you may know something about it: the years of Hebrew School, the six months of lessons, the preparation at home, the impromptu belting of prayers in the shower, the ridiculous cost of the party.  I went through all of this, but now that I’m four weeks away from the frenzy of scrambling for an extra favor for the kid whose soccer tournament got rescheduled at the last minute enabling him to come (by the way, I pledge my allegiance to anyone starting a movement to outlaw favors), and buying a cart full of two-liter soda bottles because the caterer doesn’t do “kid drinks,” I realize that one of the most fulfilling moments for me had nothing to do with the service or the party.

It happened on the preceding Tuesday, October 23rd, at around 4:00. Tuesday is our only free day with no Hebrew School or sports or dinner at the boys’ cousins’ house. That’s when we shop for suits (when we have to) and see the doctor for well visits. This particular Tuesday we had carved out for pre-Jewish-rite-of-passage haircuts, which may not seem like a big deal. Lots of boys have their heads shaped and sideburns shaved in advance of a big event.

Not my Blue. This is a child who grew his hair for thirteen months, Blanket Jackson style, just because, and because I let him – two months in, I didn’t think it was a battle worth fighting, and sometime around four months it became a righteous cause bigger than both of us. Anyway, G and I ultimately got him to ditch the Blanket look in exchange for some high priced wooden bats from Disneyworld. Subsequent to this bartered-for haircut, he promptly let the locks grow again.

Sign Up for E-News

As I was planning Blue’s bar mitzvah and working as hard to nail down t-shirts sizes for 80 children (some of whom, post-party, I’ve still never met) as he was on his Haftorah, I let him know that there was one bar mitzvah present from him I wanted: a haircut. I braced myself for an “are you serious,” a “wow mom,” an elegant yet simple “no,” or tomatoes flying toward my face.  Much to my surprise – and I’m still not sure how it happened – he said okay.

As that all important Tuesday drew nearer, I gave him gentle reminders, trying to walk the fine line between making sure he knew it was almost showtime and not overdoing it lest he get spiteful and call the whole thing off. He didn’t falter. Maybe my acquiescing on the photo booth guilted him into it. Whatever it was, I didn’t care. That Tuesday, I took my boys to Supercuts, where Dimples had had a haircut he liked right before school started. The few times I’ve taken Blue to an upscale salon, the haircuts haven’t been that great, so I went for straightforward, familiar and no appointment necessary.  The lovely woman to whom I owe, well, my happiness, sat him down in the chair and walked around him. She walked around again. And again. She was a longtime Supercutter, so I was confident she could do the job, but this was, to put it mildly, a thick head of hair, and she wanted to be sure how she was going to approach it. She knew he had a huge weekend coming up.

I looked at Blue for signs of hesitation or reversal, but he was in.  After many laps around the chair, this wonderful woman took the razor to him and chunks of coarse, brown hair fell hard to the floor. It was a shocking sight, but Blue didn’t back out. I made eye contact with him through the mirror and he was smiling, a little, just enough that I felt my eyes well up and had to turn away. Like the sun, he was too bright, too close. I was the most emotional I had been in all of these countdown days. Forget the meeting with the Rabbi or the realization that this major event was upon us. Blue told me he would do something that had the potential to make him self-conscious, uncomfortable and unable to recognize himself on the eve of the biggest day of his life, and he was following through.

This blessed woman spent 45 minutes sculpting and crafting, pruning and fine-tuning, until Blue had morphed from your run of the mill, undistinguishable overly hairy teenager to a young man whose gorgeous light eyes I could see, and whose short hair made him seem older and taller (even Dimples, loathe to give a brotherly compliment, said so).  Now, I could look. I couldn’t stop looking. I also walked around him, checking him out from all angles, reacquainting myself with his neck, his forehead. I asked if he was okay. I bought him gel. His mood was even, kind of hard to read…certainly not overjoyed, but nowhere near despondent. I too tried to play it cool, but felt anything but. When we got in the car, I asked if he could see himself keeping his hair short and he said that as soon as his bar mitzvah was over, he would start growing it again. He did this for me, purely because I asked him to. He took his inalienable adolescent right of self-absorption and turned it on its head, turned his head toward the buzzer and never looked back.

Liz Kingsley lives in Westfield with her girlfriend and their five children. During the day, she teaches Special Education and Basic Skills at a local elementary school, writes poetry and columns about her family, and directs The Writers Studio. At night, she collapses from exhaustion.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Practice Self Care at Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness

December 8, 2016

During the colder months, we tend to hibernate like bears and avoid our healthy habits. The transition from warm weather to cold weather is hardest on your body plus the Holiday season can cause stress.  Feel good this Holiday season and make your new year’s resolution for 2017 to practice self-care and give yourself the gift of health- you deserve it!! Take advantage of ...

Beckerman’s Theory of Everything

Any armchair theoretical physicist knows that Stephen Hawking has pursued a lifelong quest to come up with a Theory of Everything. This all-encompassing theory would tie together general relativity (large scale and high mass galaxies, stars, etc), quantum theory (quantum mechanics, quarks, atoms, subatomic particles), and Newtonian physics (gravity on small bodies, gas laws, electromagnetism) to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6435a3c7c84d3883aa2e_animal_shelter

Fri, December 9, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Give Back & Help a Local Animal Shelter

Giving Back

Carousel_image_96fe69a843c33a88747d_dab3f69e0779f6f216b2_merry_fitness

Fri, December 9, 5:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Merry Fitness – A Program To Get You Through The ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_f368805171cdbb9e59f9__mg_0849c_jpg-_yoga_strap_abs

Fri, December 9, 8:00 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Xtend Barre

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e7f53aa67b8e7cb310c5_vinyasaclass

Fri, December 9, 9:30 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow with Lauren

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Fri, December 9, 10:30 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer Class with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_d45d6866e253441ac792_moe

Fri, December 9, 12:00 PM

Moe's Bistro, New Providence

Book your Next Catering Event with Moe's Bistro: ...

Food & Drink

Tips for Managing Stress During the Holidays

December 9, 2016

Crisis hotline listeners are available to help with problems big and small this holiday season

Well, you made it through Thanksgiving – and the election. Now it's time to relax and enjoy the holidays – the decorations, the music, the good will. Right? Well, maybe not. 

If you are like many people, you already are feeling stressed over the holidays – impending ...

Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights Congratulates Michael Shapiro

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -  Michael Shapiro, CEO & Publisher of TAPinto.net, a network of 60 independently owned and operated online local newspapers in New Jersey and New York, with over 5 million readers, is a recipient of the Toast to Scouting Award by the Patriots’ Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Toast to Scouting recognition was presented to Mr. Shapiro by The ...

A Night of Songs and Carols, a Christmas Community Celebration set for Thursday, December 8

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - “A Night of Songs and Carols,” a Christmas Community Celebration, featuring the Westminster and Little Flower Church choirs along with Voices in Praise and other local musicians will be presented on Thursday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 725 Mountain Avenue in Berkeley Heights. In its fifth year, the annual concert kicks off this ...

One Million of a Kind: Summit Area YMCA Joins NBC TODAY Show’s #ShareKindness Initiative

SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Area YMCA has joined the #ShareKindness initiative, an effort championed by the YMCA of the USA and the NBC TODAY Show to inspire one million acts of kindness in one month from viewers across the country. As part of the initiative, The Y has committed to share 10,000 acts of kindness representing the 10,000 communities that The Y serves.

Individuals ...

Highland Park High School Orchestra Brings Holiday Music to Seniors at Lantern Hill

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The nationally-recognized Highland Park High School Orchestra will perform a selection of classical and holiday music for residents of Lantern Hill Senior Center on Friday, December 16. The orchestra, led by Director Hsin-Ting Feng, celebrated its 12th anniversary this year.

“The student orchestra has a deep love of music. Focusing on community outreach gives us ...

Frosty Fun Holiday Camp at The Connection

The Connection is holding a Frosty Fun Holiday Camp this winter break for children ages 4 and up. The camp runs Tuesday, December 27 - Friday, December 30.  There are morning (9am-1pm) and afternoon (1pm-5pm) times as well as an all day (9am-5pm) option with early drop off and extended pick up times available.

Children will have fun with friends and reunite with their favorite summer camp ...

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Shannon's six week transformation story

Shannon just finished her 6 Week Transformation, here were her results: 

Dropped 2 Pant sizes
Energy Level went from a 2 to a 9
Confidence level from a 5 to a 9

She was very happy and satisfied with these results, but the best result was taking her focus off the scale! For years Shannon only measured her success for her health by weight loss.

When we sat down in the ...

What's in a Name?

Sign here:   ________________________________

 

And here and here and here.  Initial these five boxes.  Then sign right here and over here stating that you understand that you are signing something you haven’t read.  And on the last page please sign and date this disclaimer stating that you are fully responsible for signing and dating this document even if you ...

‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales' Captures Old-Fashioned Nostalgia at Shakespeare Theatre

MADISON, NJ – It’s clear the Welsh love to sing as the evening moves on with relatives gathering for Christmas dinner at the Thomas home in Wales.

The play opens with three children and then a chorus singing “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,” a melancholy tune that conjures visions of Swansea, a village in Wales,  with “fallen snow on ...