Snipping the years away

Sherri Gardner HowellFarragut, Kitchen Table Talk

I have a new grandson.

I still have only three, and this “new” grandson is still 4 years old, lives in Franklin and answers, when it suits him, to the name of King. A mere week ago, I could still see a little toddler in that sweet face that was framed by long, blond curls.

King’s hair has been the subject of family debate since it started to get longer and curlier at age 2. People would sometimes call him “she” or tell me what a pretty little granddaughter I had.

It never bothered me and certainly didn’t bother King at age 2 or 3. His mother, Kinsey, understood King’s hair completely because he has her hair, only it is blond, and Kinsey is a brunette. Kinsey and I knew that just cutting King’s hair would not yield that close-to-the-crown, straight-part “little boy” haircut Granddaddy and Uncle Tim seemed to think would magically appear.

Sometimes King would sport a “man bun,” but most of the time his hair was free to be ringlets all over his head. More often than not, he would shake away from pulling it back into the bun, preferring his hair to just “be.”

Aunt Keela provided trims to shape it up, but the answer to “when are you going to get his hair cut?” from his mom and dad was always, “When he’s ready.”

That day almost came several months ago when he announced he wanted to cut his hair. Kinsey took it in stride, showed him some pictures and made an appointment. When the day came a couple of days later, King looked at her as if she had lost her mind and absolutely refused to talk about it.

Last week, however, at a trip to his favorite store, Target, with his dad, he picked out a toy that had a picture of a little boy on the front. When he got home, he told his mom and dad that he wanted his hair cut “like this,” pointing to the little boy’s picture.

I’m happy I wasn’t visiting because the little boy had a buzz cut, and I probably would have run screaming out of the room. Trey and Kinsey, however, took it in stride and began showing him other pictures of boys about his age with short haircuts. Figuring he would probably change his mind again, they didn’t make much fuss.

But he didn’t change his mind. After his dad got off work on March 5, King marched to the car for his first significant haircut.

It took almost an hour, and he never wavered. I am so prejudiced, of course, that my opinion can hardly count, but I think the results are spectacular. They were certainly dramatic, so much so that one of his teachers at school the next day didn’t recognize him.

There are monsters to slay in the castle, traffic to direct in the driveway and some new concerns that the Easter Bunny may be coming a little late this year, so the “event” is over and done as far as King is concerned. He has a bit of a swagger, however, that makes it evident that he likes his new look.

Gigi likes it too, even if it is a milestone that whispers, “He’s growing up, growing up …”


King Howell, April 2017

King Howell, January 2018

King Howell, February 2019

King Howell, March 6, 2019, with new haircut


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