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Ever since Will was born and I realized I had been blessed with a son, there have been several specific events to which I have looked forward.
1) First trip to Fenway Park and his first Red Sox game. 2) First trip to Gillette Stadium for his first Patriots game. And 3) father-son trips to the barber.
Yesterday, #3 took place.
And honestly, it was way past time to do it. I wanted to get his hair cut when he turned 1, but MJ wasn’t ready. I quickly found out there’s something built into every mom’s DNA that puts off that first haircut for as long as humanly possible. I guess it has something to do with not wanting to make the leap from baby to toddler, but I just don’t get it. All I know is my son had long, blonde, curly locks and he was being mistaken for a girl, or an effeminate Canadian hockey player with a mullet.
But we couldn’t get his hair cut just anywhere. Even though MJ wanted to just pick out some kids salon nearby, I had other plans. Better plans. Plans that were cemented the minute Will was born. So yesterday we got in the car and drove an hour north to my hometown of Norton, where we visited Tom’s Barber Shop.
Tom and his son Dennis own the place, located right on Route 123 in Norton. They’ve been there for four years, and even though I live on the Cape I still travel 50 miles each way just to get my hair cut by these guys. They’re that good. Tom and Dennis have a real barbershop set-up. None of this prissy salon stuff, this is Man-Town! Nothing but clippers, straight razors and hot lather. An honest to God old school barbershop. I love it.
Granted, it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea. Tom and Dennis are honest to a fault. They’re straight out of Dorchester (a section of Boston for you non-Massholes), the Boston accent is at it’s peak and you will hear some off color (and freakin’ hilarious) jokes. If you’re scared off by swearing and loud opinions, get thee to a SuperCuts bitch. But if you want a fantastic haircut by some great guys and even better barbers, this is your place!
Hell, the slogan on their business cards is “The more hair we cut, the more HEAD you get!”
That’s why it was really important for me to take Will to Tom’s for his first haircut of many. I wanted to start a tradition that involves just me and Will. Father-son bonding. And what better place to do that than at the barbershop? And what better barbershop than Tom’s, where a father and son are cutting hair together?
I didn’t want to let MJ come at first, but I was told that not letting mom come to the first haircut is definitely bad form. And I understand that, so I relented. As we walked in and smelled all the hair tonics and hot lather, I smiled and looked at my son, knowing this was the first of many future manly bonding experiences. I was worried about how Will would react, and whether or not he’d stay still. And while I knew Tom and Dennis cut kids’ hair on occasion, Dennis is 23 and I wasn’t sure how he’d do.
Well shame on me for doubting him. He may be young, but Dennis is unbelievably skilled. He’s a total pro. Within minutes he was snipping away at Will’s hair, getting Will to stay still and look in all the right directions. You would’ve thought he had kids himself.
Will did great, and the difference in his appearance was amazing. He looked way older in just minutes. Yesterday my son officially transformed from a baby into a little boy. As an example of how Tom and Dennis go the extra mile, Dennis took a little bit of Will’s hair and attached it to a keepsake certificate that confirmed Will had his first haircut.
My little guy may have lost his golden curls yesterday, but he officially became a man. And, he has a barber. The same barber as me, his dad. And you know what? That’s pretty damn cool.