“What are you doing Max?” I ask the 7-year-old who is shaking his head roughly from side to side–his hair flinging in all directions.
“I’m trying to make my hair longer,” he says and continues to shake it.
“I don’t think that’s going to help,” I say, but secretly I begin to wonder if maybe I should join in. Max’s hair has gotten pretty long in the past month or so and it’s incredibly thick. He’s quick to defend his “roots,” and never lets anyone get the better of him about his near shoulder-length doo. He’s also come up with some pretty convincing arguments. After hearing the story of Samson and Delilah, he adopted that philosophy as his own.
“If they cut my hair I may loose my powers,” he says matter-of-factly.
“What powers are those?’ I ask.
“Well you know I’m pretty fast.”
“Is it the hair that makes you so fast?” I ask.
“Yeah it makes me faster, stronger, healthier and smarter. It even makes me smell better.”
“Smell better? I ask. “The hair does that? So if you cut it, are you going to start to smell bad?”
“Yeah,” Max says and nods his head very slowly and carefully.
“Well we better just leave it alone then.” He flies outside with a snickering grin, knowing he dodged a pair of scissors once again—this time for a “good reason.” One of his teachers kept needling him about his hair length, but instead of rebelling he charmed her with his big brown eyes, long eyelashes and movie-star smile. She finally decided to leave the issue alone.
His New England-based great-grandmother, whom Max loves dearly and plays with for hours on end, couldn’t help but to pick at him about his long hair.
“Can you even see or hear with all that hair?” she asked. “Don’t you want to cut it?” she pressed.
She laughed at her remarks as he continued to color his menu at the restaurant, then looked up slowly and said, “Gram why does your hair look like George Washington’s?”
She howled in laughter and hugged him, as he smiled and lowered his head to his drawing. So we’ve decided to let Max be in charge of his hair length, respectively speaking. After all the proof is in the pudding. He recently began the Second Grade, and hasn’t returned from school with any bad reports of hair abuse from his new teacher. As a matter of fact, he’s returned every day with good reports and good grades. Maybe, like Samson, he actually does have a valid reason.