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Robyn Margulis
Published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Robyn Margulis
Are the tween years too early to worry about going bald?

"Mommy, how come you don't write about me in your blog?" This question makes me laugh every time it's asked by my 11-year-old son. He wants to be famous, he tells me. My daughter, who dislikes being written about, seems to, nonetheless, enjoy one-upping her brother: "It's a blog about teens. You're not a teen." My son retorts, "Yeah, but I'm a tween." Good point. I suppose that counts.

So when my son cried, "I don't want to be bald!" my first blog about him was born.

Look at any school yearbook these days and you'll see that the 70's-like-long-hair-trend is back. My tween loves his long hair. It was about a year and a half ago that he really started giving me a hard time whenever I mentioned a haircut. At the start of the summer I was able to convince him to get a haircut after a few very hot and sweaty baseball practices. Although he finally relented, he would only let me cut it; he doesn't trust hairdressers after the last too-short-haircut. Of course, for the boy who adores his long tresses, any scissors-snipping is too much, and he was none too pleased when I was done. "I don't look like a skateboarder anymore."

We enjoyed a visit this week from my brother-in-law, Steve-my very bald brother-in-law Steve. Uncle Steve busted on my son about his messy, longish, curly locks and how he was in desperate need of another haircut. It's the look these days, I informed him. Nonetheless, Uncle Steve urged him to brush, care for, and love his hair while he still has it; because like him (and my son's other uncle, and father, and grandfather) he's bound to lose it.

"Noooo, I don't want to lose my hair! I don't want to be bald!" Great. Thanks, Uncle Steve. Now my 11-year-old is going to fret about the possibility of losing his hair. Is he going to be staring in the mirror at his hairline now? Will he be counting the stray hairs in his brush and on his pillow?

Uncles are great for busting on their nieces and nephews, aren't they? I remember when I was a kid, my uncle used to call me the "little actress" because I cried a lot (I was just sensitive); and when I first started wearing a bra, he would grab the strap in the back and snap it-he thought it was funny (yeah, hysterical...today he'd probably get arrested).

"Doesn't it skip a generation?" my son asked about the heredity of male patterned baldness. "In our family it doesn't skip any generations," Uncle Steve replied. My son looked defeated.

I decided to get in on this conversation about my son's family tree and informed that while my grandfather was bald, my biological father has a full head of hair. My husband added that he has heard the baldness gene comes from the mother's father. "Yes, yes!" my son replied, adding some animated fist pumps. There's hope for him.

The tables were turned on bust-chopping Uncle Steve, though, when we were out dining at a restaurant. My husband was having trouble reading the menu in the dim light without his reading glasses. Suddenly, Steve was the one fretting. "You have to wear reading glasses? Dad started wearing reading glasses when he was in his 40's, too...oh, no, I guess I'm next." And that doesn't skip generations. Poor Uncle Steve. It stinks getting older.

Later in the evening when putting my son to bed, he enjoyed the story of Uncle Steve's impending vision issues; but he was still worrying about the possibility of losing his hair. My very modest son informed me, "My hair is amazing and it shouldn't be gone."

Well, who could argue with that.

 



 

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