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Sunday night, just before bedtime

“Do I really have to practice guitar, because my foot really hurts.”

These are actual words that just came out of my 8-year-old’s mouth. I can’t see how one has anything to do with the other, and honestly wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of it, but somehow that felt like it would be insensitive to his foot pain. So, instead of laughing I simply said that he did not have to practice. He went back upstairs to brush his teeth and to read in bed. I'm guessing the foot pain disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

Being a parent of young boys is never boring. In the past 45 minutes, I trimmed one kid’s toenails, helped the other kid remove a wart that was hanging off his toe – true story. It was gross and bled way more than I would have expected. I’ve already put a second band-aid on it. I should point out that the one with the wart is not the same one with the foot pain. Sympathy pain, perhaps?

Oh, and I also trimmed the long, scraggly hair of the kid with the wart. This is a major victory – he has been growing his hair for more than two years and in that time tonight marks the second time he has allowed anyone to put scissors anywhere near his head. He generally acts as though any hair trim will result in the loss of his powers, like Samson. [Side note, an internet search of “Samson hair” brought up multiple results for beauty salons with variations of that name, and then I started to wonder if one must have knowledge of the King James Bible to understand the reference to Samson, but this takes me way off course. My biggest challenge in life is staying on subject so I will leave that for another day.]

So, back to my son with the long blonde hair. The only other person who has been allowed to touch his hair with a pair of scissors was my sister, who is – in fact – a hair stylist. When she trimmed his hair this summer, she had to swear a blood oath that she would take no more than 4 millimetres of hair from any one strand. My kid intensely protective of his hair.

To the untrained eye, my impromptu trim will not be noticeable. In fact, when he looked in the mirror my son barely noticed a difference, even though during the event he was barely able to sit still with the stress of it all. My sister will definitely notice and may actually reprimand me for using $20 shears purchased five years ago at Shoppers Drug Mart. She generally disapproves of any unprofessional hair cuts, and I can't blame her, really. But I'm sure that had I waited to bring him to a professional the window of opportunity would close, so I had to leap at the chance.

I’m not certain why I was granted the power to trim his hair this evening. Perhaps it’s because he is still on an emotional high from his birthday party yesterday. Or, it’s because he’s still feeling great about his team winning the basketball game earlier today. Either way, I will claim this as a true accomplishment that I was able to trim away more than half an inch of scraggliness from his hair. Now, if I could only do something about the ripped pants he insists on wearing...