I have an upcoming 8th grader on my hands. Acting his age in most every way, displaying every bit of the 13 years that he is.
I'll spare you the customary…. "I blinked, and summer is over, " and "wasn't he just a baby, like last week? "big feels" that whirl around my head this time of year. Alright, really most any time of the year they catch me off guard.
Amidst the sun, pools, zoo's, beaches, friends, potlucks, tubing, camping, family, unlimited "Good Luck Charlie" and Minecraft we've immersed ourselves in the last few months….I do have a "to do" list, and 8th pictures are near the top.
Confession: In his 13 years of life, Austin had yet to visit a "real" barber. I have cut his hair every. single. time….which really isn't that often, because the shaggy look does him well, and he is pretty laid back.
Well, with these milestone pictures looming, a clean up was in due order.
And I thought I would use this momentous occasion as the perfect time to take him to a professional. A rite of passage if you will.
I decided I would take him for a cut during Dylan's football practice. And to make it even more special I'd take him to a real barber. Like a man's barber… not my hairdresser who massages my scalp and pampers me.
However, I didn't want to risk taking him to a stranger having a bad day at SuperCuts before his pictures either. We'd already had to postpone them after he was stung by a bee in the mouth and his cheek swelled up for a week.
I remember hearing commercials for Jude's Barber Shop on the radio. You know, the barbershop for men. And there is one located fairly close to football practice. Perfect. A quick haircut at a barber...no fluff there.
And in one very surreal moment, as I grabbed the door handle to shuffle the kids in, the doorbell dinging announcing our arrivial, all eyes in the place instantly locked on us...my heart sank.
In that very instant... a moment too late… it clicked in my brain why they call it the barbershop for men. Just once I would like to learn something the easy way.
As Stella stared incredulously at all the pictures or scantily dressed women on the wall, her eyes so big I thought they'd pop right out of their sockets, Austin and Sydney looking up and down, clearly not knowing what to do with themselves or their eyes, embarrassed … I quickly stammered "I'm sorry, I didn't realize this wasn't a place for kids" to the receptionist who was already preparing for our hair cut.
I quickly looked around and surveyed only men in the chairs, to which she shrugged…"Oh sure, people bring their kids here all the time. Now who's getting their hair cut?"
I sat down with the girls and promptly took out my phone to watch a show, hoping it would completely distract them from the walls and the "weird pictures".
Here's the thing. I'm a fairly over-protective person when it comes to what my kids see. I take my role as their advocate pretty seriously. I do my research, read reviews, take ratings seriously, and hover over their shoulders while on the computer in an annoying mom way.
I am probably a little too controlling to say the least…and I willingly marched them straight into a store where my 7 year old daughter asked "Mom, why are the pictures so weird here, and why is that lady taking her underwear off in that picture?"
I could cry.
Well I got more and more antsy as we sat, beating myself up for my ignorance. I had to at least get my girls out of there!
I saw a parking spot open up right outside the glass storefront, so I quickly ran outside...doorbell dinging behind me... and moved my van closer, so I could see it from the waiting area.
I came in (doorbell ding), and sent the girls out (doorbell ding... again) to the van. Doors locked, all windows down in the sultry heat, in the back seat I left them my phone to watch a show, where they wouldn't draw so much attention to themselves.
And there I sat. My head darting back and forth so fast, i looked like a chicken...praying in my head that I hadn't ruined them all with my ignorance.
My eyes trained on my van, making sure the girls were safe, certain someone was going to report me for having them out there alone and unattended on such a hot night…. darting back to Austin, because as soon as his cut was finished I planned to whisk him out to the van while I paid, in hopes he wouldn't even have a chance to look up.
As I sat there like a nervous, anxiety- ridden, lunatic, I could almost see my mug on the 10 o' clock news. "Weary mom locks kids in van on the hottest night of the summer, while teenage son get's questionable haircut". Gah!
As the cut wore on…which in reality was all of 10 minutes…I'd jump up and head to the van to check on the girls (doorbell ding), and then train my eyes on the back of Austin's head, willing her to cut faster, silently apologizing to the back of his neck.
I'm pretty sure I made everyone in the store uncomfortable with all my nervous energy. I was a hovering, frantic, loon.
Well, when it was finally over, I plastered a smile on my face, said thank you, and promptly shooed Austin outside while i paid.
No sooner had I handed the receptionist my credit card, I heard the familiar sound of my van alarm going off. As if to alert the whole world of my epic fail.
Naturally in my haste, I didn't remember the van was locked. I once again darted through that dinging door, but it was actually the comic relief I/we needed to end our little situation.
As we pulled away, we had a good talk about my ignorance, I apologized to them over and over and over again, and I promised the little girls I wouldn't take them to that place with the "weird pictures" again.
And I've forgiven myself, because I just can't keep my kids in a bubble after all....tho I'm not sure the girls will ever look at Bat Girl through the same eyes again.
My 8th grader…