Today, I helped my son dye his hair shoe-polish black. It was a very sweet moment and one that got me thinking- thinking about apples and trees and how they fall.
The last time I helped a boy dye his hair shoe-polish black was in 1993 and that boy was his daddy. At that time, the dying of the hair was pure, unadulterated teen angst, a deliberate slap in the face of authority, an overwhelming desire to shock, mock, and isolate ourselves from the proles.
As I look at my son, I see my husband. The child is an exact copy- physically. You could say "the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree," and that would pertain to both his momma AND his daddy in so many ways.
The truth of the matter, though, is that Jake is falling from an entirely different tree, is an entirely different strain of apple, and instead of falling, he's jumping with both feet and giggling the whole way down.
Today, the dying of the hair had nothing to do with teen angst. The only angst welling up inside Jake is that which simmers as a result of me not making his favorite chimichangas for dinner or when a string on his guitar breaks.
Today, the dying of the hair was for fun. For coolness' sake, with pretty much the same excitement as buying a T-shirt with his favorite rock band on it.
Today, he didn't come out of the shower with an aura of darkness about him, eyes cast downward in an attempt to create a vibe of isolation or a statement of anger. Today, he came out of the shower and asked if there was any hair dye left on his ears. Today, he told his momma "thank you" for helping him. Today, he got out of the shower, put his baseball cap back on, and went outside to go walk the neighbors dogs.
Today, I'm gonna tell him he looks cool. I'm gonna remind him he needs to touch up his roots in a few weeks. He's gonna go practice his guitar, read his new James Ellroy book, and finish his psychology exam.
Because, while his momma and daddy might have been old, bruised up apples with a big fat worm in the middle, against all odds, they created a Gala.