Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stephen did it! -- jcarolek

One day, more than 18 years ago, I came home from work to find life as usual at my house. Hubby was comfortably positioned in the rocking recliner, feet propped up, TV blaring. Kids were “somewhere,” but no noise over the TV, so, sort of “peaceful.” As I crossed the living room to my roll-top desk, the desk that served as my complete office in those days, to put my briefcase down and sort the mail, I was greeted with the standard, “What’s for dinner?”

Well, as I was winding up for my just as standard smart-aleck response, our terms of endearment were interrupted by the proud emergence of our youngest, then five. Jen was very proud of herself as she made her entrance onto the living room stage. She beamed from ear to ear and spun and twirled as only little girls can. But our attention was not on her lovely dance moves, or her very special, rather dingy dress that she loved because of the way it flared out when she spun. No, our attention was on her head.

Our little “angel” had been transformed into a little, well, hmmm, egghead? I did not have time to open my mouth before hubby hollered at the top of his lungs, “Jen! What the H___ happed to your hair????!!!!”

Well, as proud as she had been of her hair cut, for that, indeed, was what she had been showing off, she immediately turned to angry. Her accusatory voice rang out clearly, “Stephen did it!!!”

About this time, Stephen, completely unaware that all Hades was breaking loose, came out of the bedroom that had served as the make-shift hair salon, carefully carrying the shoebox, into which he had made certain every clipped lock had fallen. Well, as could be expected, he caught Holy Heck for his actions, over his protests of, “Jen asked me to cut her bangs!”

What I found amusing about this little lesson in life is that the single person who should have been reprimanded for this deed was not. The father, in whose care the children had been entrusted, was actively meting out the punishment, but never once stopped to consider his own lack of attention that allowed this to take place. Sure, the kids were five and seven and did not need to be hovered over, but they were able to get my sewing shears and perform this transformation without their father ever coming up for air.

Nevertheless, there she was, in all her glory and the world would just have to wait for the bangs, cut off at the skin line, to grow back. About three weeks after the incident, I caught her in mid twirl in her favorite dress. I snapped her picture for posterity. It was one of the many I discovered this week as I went through the box of memories. It was crinkled and stained, but that face, that pure delight shone through.

I give you, my little egghead angel!

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