I love my kid. He is a great kid. He is mature, well-behaved, thoughtful.
But sometimes, he is so clueless about how good he has it, and how easy his life is.
I try really hard not to pull the “my life was so much harder than yours” stuff. But how can I not, when we are sitting in the back yard, on a gorgeous Denver day, and all I am doing is cutting his hair. Like I have done most of his life, because I can’t stand the way most barbers do the standard “boy cut” and never listen to what I ask for. Where the water to wet his hair was apparently too cold and the sun was in his eyes.
So he was crying.
Literally crying because he had to sit through 15 minutes of a hair cut in the backyard on a 90 degree day because I want to make his hair look good.
I’d had it.
“Do you know what *I* was doing when I was your age?”
I went on to tell him about the night that my father was so drunk and angry that he ripped the phone off the wall and hit my mother with it.
And how, that same night, we snuck out of the back door and how me, my mom and my little sister pushed the car down the driveway to leave my dad and go live at my grandmothers.
And that my dad hurt me other times, badly, and it’s taken a lifetime to get over it.
And then I asked him if he had any questions about all that.
“Did your dad ever find you?”
Yes. But he never hurt me again.
“How much did he drink?”
You know those bottles of liquor that we pull out at parties? One of those every few days. Sometimes one every day.
“How did your dad die?” (He died when I was 11)
From cancer and sclerosis of the liver – which means his liver was hurt from all the alcohol.
And then I asked him if he was ready to finish his haircut.