Joie de vivre

This is Jacob. He’s 7. He has a smile that lights up the room.

He’s an accelerated reader, an excellent speller and a math wiz. He is a straight A student. He’s holding his award for perfect attendance this semester. He is a superstar. I think he is a good-looking boy, as do all the little girls in his class.  I like him with longer hair, it could use a wee bit of a trim, but overall, I think it’s fine.  The boy has the misfortune to have er.., well, let’s just say his ears are enormous. That’s right, I said it. The boys’ ears are huge.

Can’t tell, right? Exactly. That’s why the longer hair looks good on him….no ears. So while Capt Snuggles and I have been away, (sounds much nicer, like a short holiday..) Jacob decided he didn’t want longish hair anymore. I believe part of the problem came about because he had to wash his hair more frequently, as opposed to when he had a much shorter, almost crewcut-like coif. Really? Is it that difficult to wash your hair? Apparently for a 7-year-old boy, it is.

I tried, over the phone, to gently persuade him to re-consider his haircut decision. In the end, I was unsuccessful. Part of me wanted to say “NO!”, exert my parental influence, rage at the moon.  But, I want my boys to make their own decisions (with gentle guidance, of course…). At the end of the day – it is his head. Ears or no ears, he has to make sense of his own style, his own attitude about himself. We worry, as a culture, about girls and self-esteem and body image. What about boys? Do we really think it’s any less difficult for boys to make choices regarding their own unique look?  To brave ridicule and laughter, to make a statement with their style decisions?

I think it takes a certain joie de vivre to pull off this look.

oh , those ears!


Have you let your kids make decisions about their unique style even when you didn’t like their decisions? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.




Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Joie de vivre

  1. I LOVE IT!!! I think he pulls of the mohawk wonderfully, ears and all. 🙂 I let my daughters dress themselves on the weekend – the looks are wild. They normally involve a fancy dress and then half the dress-up box. Also, my daughter gave herself a mullet at one point but I would have stopped that one if I could have. 🙂

    He’s awesome! Good job, mom,

  2. The good thing about hair is that it grows back.

    • I think it is important for kids to make decisions regarding their hair. It allows them to have “CONTROL” over things they can’t or want to control. It will grow back and it is a good way to learn about self identity. As my kids get older – each of them want to choose their style – as long as they will “care” for it, they can (within limits, due to private school regulations) choose what they like. He is a handsome boy and if you never mentioned the ears, I wouldn’t have noticed or thought they were unusally big – I have seen bigger. I think the cut thins out his cheeks. AAhhh, he looks great and he looks soooo happy.

      I think as long as he keeps up being a straight A student, he is comfortable in his shoes. I am very well aware of the news reports of bullying. I suffered relentlessly as a kid and know how it feels. I do think it is an important step kids need to go through for that emotional education to properly mature, however, not to the point of wanting to commit suicide. Kids today are different today. I think they are more abusive to each other and not necessarily physically violent – they are verbally abusive. Body image is certainly part of that verbal abuse. So, the first suggestion of being teased by weight is a rapid or immediate decline of food and water. Unfortunately, this is what society has done – taught that rail thin is IN.
      I am not sure why boys don’t like to be clean – I have 3 boys and ALL of them FIGHT me to take showers on a daily or regular basis. We set-up a shower schedule and no help. I am told that it doesn’t get better until they start dating seriously near or after college – so don’t pull your own hair out on this one, LOL

  3. As one who was likened to Mr Spock I can sympathise – but our heads grow into them eventually. 🙂

    PS I’m here from Blog Gems

  4. I actually think he looks better with the short hair, ears or not.

    On the other hand: I loved having long hair as a boy, now that I;m a bit older I’d love to have the choice again!

  5. Omgosh, I love it-his smile helps him pull it off I think.
    With us it’s what they chose to wear- my oldest has grown out of it now but when she was little she had to wear a cape with everything. The youngest refuses to wear anything that isn’t baby pink- I still make her from time to time but it’s a struggle everytme.

  6. He DOES pull it off. I have two boys…both still young. Thus far, we have not had this battle. But I imagine we will. Oh yes, and I will have to try to handle it with grace and not with my natural tendency to micro-manage.

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