Two. No, Three! No Four!


Joaquin's haircutThis past weekend Joaquin needed a hair cut and after running all weekend long, on Sunday we realized we only had a ½ hour before the hair cut place closed so we raced over to Sport Clips. We both agreed he’d get it cut short. He even said, “A two Dad.” That’s what Mom always tells them.

I said, “Okay” and conveyed that to the hair stylist as they lead him to the back.

I missed the part where she said, “Buzz all around okay.” 

I was already walking back up front to watch some of the Pro Bowl on the big TV they had. 

So when Joaquin came out of the back – he was BUZZED. OMG, I felt so bad and he did too. I tried to brush it off by stating, “It’ll grow back.” But he looked so different. We got home and the combined intake of air from both Emmy and Liz made the situation worse. I just shook my head and walked into the garage feeling horrible. How could I not have heard what the stylist had mentioned? Plus, Joaquin had a big presentation on Monday at a school and he would have to stand up in front of his entire class . That knot in my stomach was getting worse. I sighed and went to his room where he was tweaking his presentation on his computer and apologized. He just smiled, hugged me and said, “Don’t worry Dad, I’ll just tell them it was punishment for getting detention this past week.” 

“Yes! Tell them I punished you.” Igor replied.
“I will.” 

See, earlier in the week he received a detention notice for talking in class and he would miss the school Baseball tryouts. We called his Math teacher to see if we could reschedule his detention so he could try out. She said, “No problem, I feel really bad that I had to give him detention but he had two citations from other teachers and on the third, I’m obligated to give him detention.” She seemed to feel really bad for doing as such and even said, “He’s such a joy to have in my class and he doesn’t really act up. It was just the luck of the draw.” We thanked her. Three citations in the past school year – not a bad kid. Dad on the other hand…well…

Monday morning he had to dress in “Sunday Best” for his presentation. While I was finishing up tying his tie, I leaned in and we touched foreheads. I looked into his eyes and again apologized for the hair cut. I whispered,  “Remember, it was punishment for detention.” 

“Yes Dad.”
“Good luck Papa, here’s your laptop, I love you.”
“I love you too Dad.” 

He grabbed all of his stuff for school and off he went with his Mom and sister. He looked sharp in his tie and I remember thinking, “Could this be his future?” Dressed up, wearing a tie, lugging a computer  to work.  I felt better – a little but not much. I know he would be get picked on since he looked so different but I hope he could manage it well. This is such a tough time for a 13 year old and I felt I had made it worse. But he surprised me in his clever explanation to the situation. I would take one for my kid. 

…then on my way to work, I get a call on my cell from him in the school office. 

“Dad! Ms Talamantez (his English teacher for his presentation) is not here today and no one came dressed up. I’m the only one! No one called me over the weekend. Can you come bring me my uniform so I can get out of my dress clothes? I’m the only in dressed up.”

The cloud of doom was forming above me. 

“What? I’m on my way to work.”
“I tried calling Mom and she didn’t answer. Maybe someone can come during lunch?”
“I’ll call your Mom, Papa – we’ll see what we can do.”
“Thanks Dad.” 

I called Liz and she managed to get him his school uniform during lunch. She’s a great Mom. He was very thankful. 

…and the cloud dissipated.

He came home that day none worse the wear. He amazes me.


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