One of the most joyous days I remember was my
sons second birthday. We had postponed his first hair cut for this important day.
One of my closest friends and I took him and, with camera in hand, we marched to our
favorite barber, Bob. This kindly gentleman put him on the baby chair and made a wonderful
occasion of it for us all. I will treasure those pictures forever. For two years, I had
the wonder of watching his baby locks shine and twist and turn without a word of protest
from him. Next year, he may be a skin head, wear a Mohawk or worse yet what if the D.A.
comes back in style! Well, I had those two years.
It seems obvious to me, that decisions such as when to get babys first haircut are
the prerogative of the parent. Unfortunately , it seems that we are doing a reasonable job
of telling people how to stay alive; how to avoid AIDS; the value of bicycle helmets,
etc.. But, we arent educating people in how to live with their fellows. You can
imagine my shared sense of loss when a friend came to me filled with anger and frustration
because she came home and found that her baby-sitter had done her a favor by giving her
child his first haircut!
In another instance, one of my friends gave his son into the care of a loving aunt who
returned the child with his ears pierced as a present. The father had refused permission
to his son to get his ears pierced feeling that he was too young to make such a decision
or to take care of the wound properly. Needless to say this gift brought on a massive
The sad part of this story is that the people who committed these violations on other
peoples children were well meaning and were trying to please. How do we teach people where
the boundaries are? It seems obvious to me that a person ought to know better than to give
someone elses child a living animal for a pet; or to give a child a lot of money, or
candy; or to alter a childs clothes; or to teach a child to shoot a gun; or to buy
war toys; or to teach a child to fight (self-defense). Unfortunately, many people
dont know the boundaries. I wish , since society is teaching so many things to keep
us alive, more time would be spent on teaching us how to live.