The white guy
When you’re the father to a black kid the question of race seems to be one of those things that just hangs around. Not racism, which I’ll have to address again and again I’m certain but just simply he’s black and I’m not. I never really pay much attention to it and at times don’t really think about it until I see both of us in a mirror then it’s not ever who’s that black kid but rather what’s with the white guy? We got his hair cut yesterday which is a big deal with any 5 year old but to find a barber who can do justice to not just a 5 year old but a black 5 year old is a whole other thing. Luckily near us there’s a barber who specializes in cutting black people’s hair and more specifically black men’s hair. I’ve had my hair cut there a few times and they don’t always do a decent job but I like supporting local business and I pass by this shop almost daily and consider them a part of the community. They’ve also gotten to know my son since he’s arrived and take the time to smile and say hello to him. Naturally it’s only fitting he gets his hair cut there. My son’s hair is obviously very curly and in the black community even more so. We’ve ourselves made numerous attempts at trying to cut it in the past but it always ended in tears. The barber at our local shop was amazing and even had a few tricks to get him past the few times when the electric razor pulled more than cut his hair. We agreed on a fade which if you don’t know that is it’s essentially cutting the hair very close down low on the head and ‘fading’ up to the top of the head where most of the hair is left. He was a good boy and the promise of a lollipop afterwards was incentive for him to keep still. When it was all done and the cut hair swept away he looked amazing, like a little man. He couldn’t keep his eyes off his own image in the mirror and said ‘daddy, look!’ I came right up next to him and we both looked at his reflection. It’s at these times I see a little boy I’ve come to love and would do anything for and I’m proud to call my son standing next to some white guy. Nothing I can do about that. Maybe I need a fade? Naw, then I’d look more ridiculous than I normally do.