Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School Taken to New Height

Today was the first day of school for my boys. Summer is over, grocery store trips with all three boys are done for a good while, early bed times are back.

I now have a 3rd grader, 5th grader and 6th grader, all at the same school, which goes to 8th grade. To my eyes, the kindergartners look impossibly tiny, and the 8th graders don't look so big anymore. A sign my children are getting older.

My 5th grader went to school with his mohawk today. He went with the knowledge that it probably won't be OK with the administration at his private school. Probably, but not certainly. Enough of an ambiguity that, with a little encouragement, he has decided to test it. This little streak of rebellion surprises me. I would expect it more from my 3rd grader. I figure that a rebellious haircut is a completely harmless and perfectly acceptable way to be rebellious. The rest of his body is clad in a pristine navy blue and white uniform for goodness sake.

He was a little nervous and didn't want to get out of the car at first this morning, realizing he was about to get a whole lot of attention. He did get a lot of attention, and he said "it was awesome and fun to be un-normal." This is a stand-out student and athlete, feeling he needs to stand out in yet another way. I suppose it is quite clear that he is a middle child. Although he cannot articulate it, I know this is in part a reaction to his older brother going to CTY camp this summer. It is also a way for him to let everyone at school know he is different from his brother in some significant way.

I think the message was received loud and clear.

From his report, there was a little bit of controversy today from both fellow students, and teachers. Nearly everyone commented. One teacher told him quite sternly that she didn't think it would fly, and another teacher nearby made a point to say it looked cool and she really liked it. Some were surprised or didn't recognize him at first. The head of the school asked him if he could wear it down, without spiking it up (hmmmmm . . .). You see, my son is first to point out that the guidebook on uniforms and dress code states no makeup or unnaturally dyed hair allowed (thank goodness this does not apply to parents). But there is nothing stating which hairstyles are acceptable and which are not. Is his hair really so different from the long floppy hair-in-the-eyes style of some of his friends, or the massive curly bouncy blond afro an eighth grade boy wore last year? Not so much. In my opinion anyway.

My son reported that the head of the upper school, the person he thinks has the power and/or responsibility to bless or condemn mohawks at school, didn't say anything.

So we wait to hear . . . if anything . . . from the school. It will be interesting. Of course we have discussed that if the school asks him to cut it off, we will comply. We are not out to protest the pledge of allegiance or defend the first amendment here. It is just hair.

I get to be the "cool mom" and not the bad guy this time. Kinda fun.

It could be worse!


Anonymous said...

You are right, it is "just hair". At least it is not a nose ring, earring or tatoos. I can't believe I just said that. But, maybe he has to stand on his own, but he should know he already does and I love him.

Emily said...

I love it! I made sure to tell him it was awesome when I saw him. ;)

The Big Boss said...

For those of you asking, the school administration had two comments.
1. Was the mohawk your husband's idea?
2. We are mostly just having lots of conversations about the hair.
Apparently they are not going to do anything. I think that is wise. The mohawk has served its purpose and I bet it will be buzzed off soon due to excessive grooming time it requires.

Mrs. L said...

I like it! (and the little rebellious streak :)