Happy Birthday, Son

Son John ($ for short) received a silent birthday gift from me that he is not aware of. It was a sacrifice, too. A few days before his birthday, he came over for dinner. He got to choose the form of the meat – ground turkey burgers or ground turkey made into a pie. He opted for the meat pie, and we had a favorite vegetable that he wouldn’t prepare for himself, broccoli with Hollandaise sauce. His gift from me was not asking to take his photograph. I know he got a double dose of the non-photo gene, so we are blessed to have any pictures of him at all. He is passably photoGENEc; it’s just that the gene is a negative one.

Son’s gift to me was cutting my hair. He was making moves to leave when I begged him to curb my witchy mop. I know he would much rather have beaten a hasty retreat, but we went out on the deck for the barbering. I haven’t been to a hairdresser for over a year, ever since I asked who had given him such a good haircut. I reasoned that if he could do a good job on his own hair, surely he could trim the ends of mine. I should have given him a tip, shouldn’t I?

I was pleased with the result, knowing it saved me from being dissatisfied with my earrings. I would have needed a whole new wardrobe of longer ones to hang lower than the pesky hair.

I found photos taken when $ turned 5 and when he was 25, standing in the same spot in our dining room.

Haircuts and Christmas Trees

Before he left this morning, I begged son John to cut my hair. I deemed the timing to be crucial. He reluctantly agreed to do it several weeks ago and did a great job. Since hair grows faster in warmer weather, I was becoming decidedly witch-like when breezes stirred up the curls. Now I’m back to looking like a witch trainee.

The connection to Christmas Trees is this. I think the year was 2011 after some of the young accountants left, the ones who had bought and set up a small artificial tree in the office. I was appointed to do the honors that year. Setting the tree up and tweaking the branches into shape was a breeze, but then I had to look at it every day until January 6. I had been very pleased with the same tree when someone else was in charge, but I found my eyes straying toward it and seeing an ornament askew or a branch dipping too low. That silly Christmas tree haunted me on a daily basis. I couldn’t look at it without finding fault with my work, and it was in my field of vision every time I looked up from my desk. I wanted to shield my son from the same kind of experience. If he had stayed here all day, he might have been critical of his cutting job each time he looked at me. I didn’t want him to chase me around the house with a pair of scissors, trying to get everything just right. I’m happy to say the hair has now been washed, and it arranged itself in a way pleasing to me.