Susan's Blog

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Return of the Head-High

One of the best feelings in life is for someone to play with my hair. It is a great high for me. When I was a little girl, this was one of the favored activities with friends and my babysitters, to get out a brush, rubber bands, and barettes and create wild hairdos in each other’s hair. The activity was sometimes fraught with a dash of anxiety, however, because my mother had put the fear of God in me about catching lice. One premier commandment, along with the Top Ten from Moses, was “Thou shalt not use someone else’s brush.” This was followed up with a reminder of how Cathy O’Neil, a friend who had caught lice, had to get all her hair cut off to get rid of it. Being a total girlie-girl, (before that was even a thing), this would have been one of the worst things I could experience. I have almost always had long hair and will have it as long as I can get away with it!

Still, I would engage in hair-play as much as possible. One of my favorite players was my father, who was as much of a “groomee” as I was. My sister and I would set up “Lorette’s,” a full-service salon, where she would color Dad’s nails with chalk dipped in water (our premium manicure), and I would put his hair in various styles. Dad, who is pretty macho, was also a very good sport. And I must say he looked quite fetching in pigtails!

Once I had children of my own — all boys — I assumed that my hair-playing days were over. To my great delight, little Max did not mind playing salon/dentist, a strange combo of fixing teeth and combing hair. And once again I had the great pleasure of feeling a child’s fingers twirling my tresses. Even though Ned is willing to oblige me with the brush, there is nothing like the innocent, agenda-free hands of a little kid.

When Max hit the tween and teen years, I had to retire my hair fun. I couldn’t expect a 12- or 14- year old boy to want to play with his mom’s hair! But this morning I had a surprise. Little Benj started wrapping my hair around his hands while I sat here typing. He found his own particular joy in hair-play by making me into all kinds of Star Wars characters, from Padme to the Wookie to Princess Leia (“bunhead”). Every now and then I would catch the scent of a little of his sweet breath. I maintained my sang-froid and pretended to type, so that he would not realize just how happy this was making me; Benj is not comfortable with too much emotional display. But I wanted to swoon right into my keyboard at the wonderful return of small fingers in my hair!


I could have written this post. I love, love, love it when someone plays with my hair. When I was a child I would beg my friends to “play hair”. I didn’t like playing with theirs but it was the only way to get them to play with mine. Now I beg my 11 yr old to play with it on an almost daily basis. If I let her stay up a little past her bedtime she’ll play with it as long as I want. I have two more daughters so hopefully the hair playing can continue for awhile. I don’t know what I’ll do when they’re all grown up and gone. Beg my grandchildren?!

— added by Wendy on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 4:38 pm

I don’t like most people messing with my hair. I don’t get it cut very often. But if one of my kids wants to play with it gently (the oldest isn’t quite 5 yet), that’s fine. Neat. Wonderful.

(It’s down past my waist again, I need a trim….)

— added by Julia on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 5:41 pm

I must hang out here and read more of your blog! SO much to relate to here, even though I haven’t read everything yet. I absolutely love for my hair to be played with, especially by my 15 yo son with autism! Dane Cook IS truly a riot, life with 2 younger sons is a challenge (yes, I have 2 typical developing sons as well) and my son with autism looks like your son. Too many coincidences to ignore…I think I’ll pull up a chair and stay awhile, I must have something to learn here!

— added by Cyndi on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 5:03 am