Like Dad Like Son
Saturday's reflection on Charlie being, like Jim, a historian contains my reflections on Father's Day. Wishing all the dads out there a lovely day with those you love!
Saturday, both my guys made a visit to the barber shop. I paid for parking while Jim and Charlie went ahead; they were both waiting in tan and mushroom-hued plastic padded chairs beneath a long mirror when I came in, Jim paging through a New York daily. The shop has four chairs and all the barbers work on Saturdays. Customers stood up from the two chairs at both ends and, as it turned out that everyone else was waiting for the two barbers in the middle, Jim went to sit on the chair on the right-hand end while the barber on the left-hand end, Antonio, called Charlie to his chair.
Antonio has cut Charlie's hair before as have most of the other barbers (the youngest barber, Michael, was the first barber to, when Charlie was 6 or 7). I stood nearby while Antonio (who's just a bit taller than me) used a buzzer on the #1 setting to give Charlie a very nice buzz cut. Charlie said 'thank you thank you' and then 'all done' a couple of times as Antonio got out a smaller clipper to tidy things up. I was all for leaving things a bit untrimmed but Antonio, and Charlie, persisted and the result:
Charlie is going to have a much easier time of it washing his hair.
Which is a good thing, as Charlie pretty much wants to 'do it on his own' these days. He's never been too good at the rinsing part; doesn't like getting shampoo in his eyes. Once he was able to handle getting the buzz cuts it's been a good thing to keep his hair so short, especially in summer when he's swimming a lot and at the ocean, and can't shower out the sand and salt quickly.
We did indeed 'test drive' Charlie's new haircut by going to the ocean after the barber shop.
So far, Jim and I have not been doing much ocean swimming. So far, too, there haven't been any lifeguards at the beach. And so far, Charlie's been doing good in the water, on his own while Jim and I do the previously unthinkable, standing on the sand and watching Charlie.
The water was pretty shallow till far out, as Jim noted by its celadon green color. Charlie took his time running into and out of the water, which was much warmer than two weeks ago when we'd last been down to the beach. He rode a few waves on his boogie board but soon ran out and had Jim unfasten the strap. Charlie went back into the water and further in, and started swimming and bodysurfing when a few other people went in too.
He inevitably drifted with the tide towards a stone jetty. When he came out a bit further onto the sand, I said 'go swim by Dad!' as Jim was standing a bit further down the beach. Charlie obligingly did so and took in a few more waves before asking for the beach towel.
Charlie's preference for wearing black slip-on shoes extends to the beach; it's not easy to get him to wear flip-flops. So he had to make his way slowly over the pebbly pavement. My offer of flip-flops was refused.
In the car, he let out a really loud YOWL. Charlie has been doing this occasionally and, while these very loud YOWLs used to occur only in the midst of major neurological storminess, of late Charlie has occasionally issued forth with them and that's it. A bit 'loud,' but we'll take it.
A stop at the Golden Arches and we enjoyed a pleasant and traffic-less ride home (it was only mid-afternoon, and most people head back much later or on Sunday afternoon). Charlie polished off some soy ice cream (vanilla only, thank you; Jim is the same though he does prefer 'real' ice cream) and then dozed off until the sun was setting. Whereupon, he and Jim went on, as per usual, a bike ride.
Jim (he did have to do all the driving back and forth) had taken an afternoon snooze too: Like father like Charlie, oh yes.