ABC's, Haircuts, and Missing Eggs

Two hard boiled eggs went to school, one came back. And his bagel was like that too, half eaten. The seaweed snacks and little bag of cinnamon Puffins I gave him for snack were untouched. Ax told me, “I was wrong about snack. We didn’t have snack or lunch today.” This guy is running some kind of con. But I’ll pack him snack and lunch today again anyway. I have no idea what really happened to that one egg. It’s possible he ate it, but more likely it got a bit mangled, then thrown out. I’m gonna volunteer to read in his class one morning and then I’ll be there at snack and catch him at his game. Ha.

The bigger news today though is that Ax got a haircut. He was happy rocking his super-chic man bun at school, but it was getting kind of “hot,” and he was not enthused about any kind of hair washing or brushing, which his hair seemed to require more and more as it got longer.

Bottom line, maintaining that rocker/soccer star look was becoming a Thing. And at six years old the guy doesn’t need to have more Things than he already does. And I don’t need him to have more Things either, since his Things are kind of my Things at this point. Or at least they have an impact on me.

For the past week I have enjoyed brushing his hair and putting it up, it’s reminded me of when I was little ordering my mom to make my ponytail ever higher and smoother. “Mom, make it smoother!” She’d pull it so tight my eyes would open wider, but inevitably it would loosen when that band got twisted around it.

“Smoother!” I had a very clear vision of wanting to look like Olivia Newton-John in Grease, the good girl version with the poodle skirt. So when Ax was yelping, “Oww, oww, oww,” at me while smiling in the mirror as I man-bunned his hair I could see that I was teaching him what I learned as a child: Beauty is Pain. And I that lesson wasn’t really something I wanted to pass down.

The other piece of the decision-making puzzle is that some older boys already seem to have targeted Ax for special attention, special negative attention. I’m embarrassed to be sharing this information but I’m sharing it because it’s a little heart-breaking and somehow sharing the heart-breaking stuff makes it less potent.

When we walked into school yesterday this little boy, maybe ten years old, with a spikey haircut, hangs back starts walking with us, smiling. I say to the guy, “Hi, I like your sneakers,” and the guy says to Ax, “Do you know how to spell your ABC’s?” And Ax says, “No,” And the kid laughs and runs off.

I looked at Ax and Ax looked at me and I said, “Honey, you do know your ABC’s.” And he said, wobbly-voiced, “But I don’t know how to spell!” I gave my sweet boy a hug and told him not to worry about it, “Who knows what was up with that guy?”

And then Ax ran and hung up his backpack full of snack and lunch on the peg with his name on it. I stayed and watched him and his kindergarten friends play in the schoolyard amidst the bigger kids before morning assembly, his man bun bobbing around, and then I kissed him goodbye for the day. And I haven’t mentioned that boy to him again. And after school we got his hair cut. I’m doing the best I can but I have no idea what I’m doing.