This post was written as a contribution to the Boys Have Long Hair, Too Blog Carnival. The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences, struggles, and opinions surrounding having a son who has long hair.
When I found out I was having a baby boy I was torn. I've never been into rough and tumble little boys, much. How would I parent a little boy? How would I raise my little boy? What would my little boy be like and would I like him? I spent a lot of time watching other little boys thinking about what I liked about them. Finally I realized there were a few little boys I really didn't mind. The ones, for example, who would grow up to be like my husband.
Realizing that helped me to realize how to nurture this sweet, sensitive side of a little boy. So when my little boy came along, and he was sweet and wonderful, I nurtured that. I honored his wants and needs instead of teaching him to be tough. I listened to him. I let him make choices so he would feel powerful.
One of those choices happened when he was almost two years old. While I was brushing his sister's hair one day, he told me, "I want a ponytail too." But his hair was short wisps, not long enough to put in a ponytail. So without judgment I told him, "You'll have to grow your hair long enough to put it into a ponytail." We had this exchange almost daily for about another year. Finally his hair was long enough to be put into a ponytail. And he was ecstatic!
As long as he has been able to talk he has told me that he wanted long hair. Because I want him to listen to others, I listen to him. His hair is his choice. His clothing is his choice. His appearance is his choice. And that makes him powerful.
His hair may seem superficial. Many have told me I should just cut it. But his hair is part of a greater lesson.
His hair is teaching him that he is powerful. Because of his hair, he knows he can make choices without fighting; without muscle. Being allowed to make his own choice shows him that people respect him. And not having to fight to be who he wants is teaching him to be sensitive; to care about others.
So when he says he wants to grow his hair long long long, and he wants to grow a beard down to his belt, I listen. After all it is his hair.