Tuesday, July 7, 2009

she-devil, or not she-devil

i know i am completely biased, but with kids like theseshould i be surprised that nearly every day someone, somewhere asks me if i have ever tried getting them into modeling? now, bear with me...i am not boasting. after nearly 20 years in the fashion industry, and having spent some of those years with a firm that produces fashion shows, i have no illusions about models. or modeling. or maybe even beauty (yeah...right). nor do i feel even slightly responsible for the genetic luck-o-the-draw that created
these little wonders

so, depending on my mood, how much of a hurry we're in, the phase of the moon(and how said phase is effecting my estrogen/testosterone balance), i give a short answer

yes, no

or a long one

well, it really is a full-time job and i already have one, the payback is often minimal considering how many go-sees you must endure before you get a booking, blah blah blah

inevitably, the conversation ends with the well-meaning (albeit nosey) stranger saying something like "anyway, you do have two beautiful girls", at which point my kids giggle, and naf'tali turns to me

"mommy, should i tell them?"
"sure, nai"
"i'm a boy"
every single day

he doesn't get mad, he doesn't cry, he doesn't get into arguments with the big kids in the playground who won't drop it..."you're a girl! you're a girl! you're a girl!"...nice, huh?

given that he's gotten so much attention (which he loves) for having tresses of
truly golden locks
...that would have rumpelstiltskin dreaming of finally being able to retire to that condo in boca...

i must admit i was a tad surprised a few weeks ago, when upon receiving his goodnight kiss, he whispered in my ear

"i want short hair"



that's what i thought to myself, but i pulled my 'never let them see you sweat' trick out of the hat and said "it's late, baby. we'll talk about it in the morning."

the next morning, he didn't bring it up.


two days later, however..."i want short hair, mommy"

"yeah? you do? well, we can talk about it after we have some snack. okay?" and a few days after that...

"i want short hair. sebastian has short hair. and eli. and jack and walker and kainoa. even cyrus' mommy cut his hair".

this goes on for three weeks, when finally

"if i have short hair, then people will know i'm a boy"

oh crap

okay, look. i'm not trying to torment my son. i don't want life to be any more difficult than it has to be, because lord knows it's already a mixed up, mungled up, shook up world. but i'm a bit of a weirdo. and i don't make light of the magic in everyday things. like hair. we all have it (at some point), right? but at the same time, every single culture has stories...has mythology, traditions, surrounding hair
every culture recognizes the magic in our locks

on one hand, there are the traditions that consider a boy's first haircut a necessary and blessed rite of passage. in Hindu tradition, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. so at the time of 'mundan', a child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into the future.

in a ceremony called boabeylun (sounds suspiciously like 'babylon to me, but i digress), maliku babies' heads are shaven and the hair is weighed against gold or silver, which is given to the poor.

and like contemporary american culture, polish boys once marked the coming of age and a transition to the world of men with the ritual of the first haircut. none of this sounds bad. but then, there is always the other hand...

in many cultures, wearing your hair cut short is a sign of mourning or devotion, i.e. submissiveness(not exactly my cup of tea)

it is said that boys should not have their hair cut before they reach their seventh year or they will lose courage. hair is said to be the center of life and soul...it circles the head; if it is yellow, gold, or red it is an image of the sun's rays and thus

connected to the heavens

in greek mythology, both kings nisus and pterelaos were said to be invincible as long as their magic locks were intact. like samson of the hebrew scriptures, each were conquered when some she-devil shaved their heads while they slept. nice.

apollo, considered one of the most important olympian deities, recognized as a
god of light and the sun
truth and prophecy
archery, medicine, healing, music, poetry, and the arts
and has a twin sister
well, his greek titles mean 'golden haired' and 'never shorn'

so, now i'm a she-devil...some kind of gorgon? chopping off the magic locks of my first born, my only son? causing him to be susceptible to the world's poison arrows and evil schemes?


like any reasonable, logical, educated parent, what do i do at this point? duh! i pour myself a glass of wine, take a few ever-so-delicious bites of the wild mushroom salad that my friend alice dropped off on her way to tea, and i consult the faeries.
, they can braid their own hair to make golden fishing-nets to catch magic fish. if you put these nets on your head they become crowns

they also said that the vily (their slavic cousins) are eternally young, their long hair is usually fair or golden, and their life and strength are believed to depend on it. if the fairy looses even a single hair, she will die.

die? oh crap

however, there's some debate about that. some folks assert that a vila will
show their true shape
to anyone who succeeds in cutting off their hair...

"right! if i have short hair, then everyone will know i'm a boy!"

but your my little boy. my baby boy, and i don't plan on having another. i'm not ready, and this hair is gorgeous. i mean, have you seen these perfect ringlets?!!
when i consulted with my big sister, she said 'oh, adrienne. just cut it. honestly'

and you know what else the faeries said?


and i only shed
to the
first day of the rest of your life, naf'tali...
after all, it's not the first time i've been called a she-devil...

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