by Marlene Kern Fischer

I often joke about how boys are so different than girls, a fact which is undeniable. Living in an all-male household has given me an opportunity to study how they think and communicate, sort of like Jane Goodall did with chimpanzees.

After nearly three decades of mothering I can say with all certainty that boys feel every bit as deeply as girls and are perhaps even more nostalgic.

Case in point- The haircut kiss.

Back when they were really little, and I would take them for a haircut, my boys would get a “haircut kiss” from me. I was always amazed at how much less they looked like babies after a haircut and I think the kisses made us both feel better.

As my sons got older, they squirmed a bit when I gave them those haircut kisses but for the most part they tolerated them fairly well. They probably sensed there was no use resisting. In addition to the kisses, I would tell them how handsome they looked, (which off course they did). My youngest son in particular hated getting haircuts so I only forced him to get one every once in a while. Truth be told, I actually loved his unruly blond curls and cringed a little when I saw them on the linoleum floor. Nowadays, this youngest son of mine likes his hair short and goes for haircuts quite often; sadly, those curls are a thing of the past.

When my sons became old enough to take money from my wallet and drive themselves for their haircuts, a curious thing happened. As soon as they got home, they would find me and offer me their cheek for their kiss and wait to be told how handsome they looked. Of course, I was only too happy to oblige. I would smile to myself, thinking my little boys were still in these young men and I was touched that they wanted to keep our tradition going.

Side note—over the years some of the haircuts my sons got were a little, shall we say, odd, however, unless I was completely appalled I stuck to the script.

Since my sons have moved out and gone off on their own, I generally no longer get to see them after they get a haircut, but if they happen to mention it, I send them a text with a kiss emoji.

The other day, I was Facetiming with my middle son who is working remotely from his girlfriend’s house in Michigan and I noticed that his hair looked shorter so I asked him if he had had a haircut. He said “yes” and then pointed to his cheek for a remote kiss. I gladly threw one to him and told him how handsome he looked.

I have no doubt my sons will remember those haircut kisses for the rest of their lives and perhaps someday offer them to their own children.

Marlene Kern Fischer, the brilliant blogger behind Thoughts from Aisle 4, is the author of Gained a Daughter But Nearly Lost My Mind: How I Planned a Backyard Wedding During a Pandemic. This must-read story, available on amazon.com, is a perfect house gift, holiday gift, or “just because” pick up for any friend who needs a good laugh or cry.