I'm just going to say, from the very outset, that giving haircuts to my boys/husband is one of my least favorite chores. Ever.
I think they look great when they are freshly shorn, but the process is so - well, messy. Little bits of hair drift all over my clothes in spite of my apron, cling to my hands, invade my mouth, and tickle my nose. Yech!
However, every four weeks or so, out come the clippers, cape (not my Superwoman cape - that's usually in the closet), and scissors and away we go!
I did not grow up cutting hair. In fact, the first haircut I ever gave was as a new bride to my husband of about three weeks. We were living in West Virginia, where he was serving as youth pastor that summer. We drove to the local "get-it-all-here" store and picked out a decent set of hair clippers, complete with case and instructional DVD. We went back home, and I, with great trepidation, opened this Pandora's box of do-it-yourself grooming.
I was extremely nervous, and was so afraid of making a mistake, that the first haircut took slightly longer than an Atlantic crossing. I will say, though, that it looked really good. My husband, pleased with his newly acquired barber, went merrily on his way, looking very fine indeed. All was well in the world.
Several weeks later, the inevitable occurred. Another haircut was necessary to prevent the church folks from assuming that Cousin It had replaced their young assistant. No problem - I, the amazing wife, would come to the rescue!
Emboldened by my previous success, I scoffed at the suggestion of watching the instructional DVD, and began busily cutting, heeding my husband's request to "make it a little shorter this time." Snipping, clipping, and talking, I made short work of the thick mop on his head. As I stepped back to view my handiwork, I was smitten with horror! He was shorn so closely that his thin frame and the dreadful haircut contrived to make him look like a concentration camp survivor- minus the striped pajamas. It was a terrible blow to my wifely confidence. I had just scalped my husband, and everyone would know. I begged my husband not to leave the house for at least a day (as if waiting 24 hours was going to change his looks significantly in the hair department). He was very kind and told me it would be okay in a few days. I was not significantly consoled by this statement, but figured there was nothing left to do but wait for it to grow again.
The next time he went into the office, he came home chuckling. The pastor, upon seeing him, did a double take and exclaimed, "Bless God! Did you get hit by a lawn mower, brother?"
It was that bad. I was mortified until it grew out, and after that incident learned to be more careful with those instruments. Almost 18 years and approximately 500 haircuts later, I still haven't watched that instructional DVD. I am sure that there are great barbering secrets and techniques available on it, but not watching it has almost become a matter of principle. A badge of honor.
So, today I gave haircuts. They are grateful. I am happy that I can perform this little service for them. This is my life, and I am still learning to love it - in spite of the mess.