Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Growing Up

Somewhere in their early teens, my boys decided they wanted to grow their hair a little longer, then a little longer and then a little more. When they were still in their early teens, it was cute. I liked it. They have such great hair that it seemed a shame to cut it off. Besides, short hair was for grown-ups and kids who played sports, for serious people. My boys were not yet serious people.

For a while there, it was getting really long. A little too long for my liking. But I had unusual children. They never got into trouble at school. They (usually) did as they were told. They called me and told me where they were and where they were going. They came home on time. They dressed fairly neatly although their rooms were generally a disaster area. One, until very recently, was very nearly a toxic waste site requiring hazmat suits for entrance.

So, I picked my battles and decided their hair was not going to be one of those battles. I figured they would eventually decide that long hair was too much trouble, that it was for younger kids, that they looked silly even though they had magnificent hair.

My older son's hair is red, an extraordinary shade of red, dark and shiny.  Up close, it is white, red, black, blond and even, here and there, grey. The effect is one that you cannot get from a bottle.

My younger son's hair was once red, but turned brown as he got older. Yes, it is mousy brown, but it is so thick that I do not believe his scalp has seen the light of day since his bald birth.

As the years of long hair went by, they would go for haircuts, but they were few and far between. I would urge them to go short, but they were having none of it. My older son graduated from high school and went off to college with his hair still below his ears. His classmates had moved on to shorter cuts, but he did not seem to notice or he just did not care.

My younger son, well, there I had more luck, but it was none of my doing. His hair was beginning to annoy him because he played soccer. It got in his face. It drove him nuts. He cut it during the summer between his junior and senior years. Varsity soccer players do not have long hair.

Then, the unheard of happened.  A player on his team was felled by an unknown heart ailment - in the middle of the game.  He was revived on the field after many anxious, endless moments. A couple of days later, all the boys had his number carved into their hair. It was touching and sweet and the boy, recovering, loved it. I hated it. It was, unbelievably, too short for my taste. My younger son liked it and never went back.

And still, my older son held on to his longer hair.

Until. Yes, until he came home for Thanksgiving. He knew he needed a haircut.  He asked me to make an appointment at the salon all the boys go to (never the barber shop). I did. Then, he dropped the bombshell I had been waiting for.  He had decided it was time. He was almost twenty. It was time for him to join the ranks of grown-ups and cut off his hair. He let me take a before photo.  He let me take an after photo. Oddly, he had the same expression on his face for both photographs. He was transformed from teen to adult in the space of thirty minutes.

I was thrilled. I was overjoyed. I was shocked and saddened and horrified.

My days of being a mom to kids and then to teens were very nearly over.  My children were not little boys anymore.

And I did not like it, not one little bit.

Layout Notes

First, let me emphasize that I scraplifted the basic idea for this layout from an image in a magazine, specifically, the idea and location for the chevrons which are popular elements that I never really liked, but worked in this context.  I have no idea which magazine it came from or the identity of the scrapbook artist. I cut the photos out of the magazines and keep them in a folder.  Whoever you are, thank you. The rest, however, is entirely of my own design.

The metal sheets for the arrows/chevrons and the corner embellishment were run through a Sizzix machine in a Vintaj embossing folder.  I sprinkled on embossing powder, avoiding the raised areas, and heated them from below. When they cooled, I inked them with embossing ink, sprinkled on a generous amount of clear embossing enamel and heated them. I colored the spinner for the clock in a similar manner.

The letters are chipboard that I painted silver. Then I embossed them with the same blue embossing powder.  The paint bubbled a bit revealing the silver color.  Worked for me.

Supplies: cardstock - Bazzill; patterned paper - unknown (green, polkadots), Making Memories (tag paper); clock - Michael's; spinner - Tim Holtz; fabric tags - Prima (house), unknown (blue); sheet metal - unknown; embossing folder - Vintaj; embossing powder - Judikins; chipboard letters - Kaiser Craft; ticket - Tim Holtz; ink - Ranger Distress Ink; paint - Ranger Distress Stain; brad - unknown; marker - Micron.