When a boy starts combing his hair — FranklyStein

Jonah MeLately, I've had to wait for my youngest in the mornings while he combs his hair. He stands in the mirror and wets it down and isn't satisfied until it's just right.

This is new. Not too long ago, I wrote a blog about his crazy hair. He never combed it and washed it even less. For him, swimming counted for cleaning. In one picture, he looked like a rhinoceros with a horn of hair sticking out of his forehead. The worse his hair looked, the better he liked it.

This hair care transition is one all of my kids have made. When Maggie was around the same age, she suddenly started wearing her ponytail off to the side. JoHair4Adam insisted on longer hair and was very particular about who cut it.

Now there's Jonah, smoothing his cowlicks as best he can before heading off to school every morning. Maybe there's someone he's trying to impress or maybe it's just cool to have perfectly combed hair. Either way, it's definitely an outward sign of what's going on inside. He's leaving the little boy with a constant state of bed head behind and starting his transition into a young man.

Needless to say, I have mixed emotions about this. I love that he's taking responsibility for his personal hygiene, and that he looks so handsome. On the other hand, my heart is heavy. I already miss the little boy with the crazy hair. He's disappeared, and I know from experience that I'll never get him back.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 17, Lilly, 16, Adam, 16, and Jonah, 12.