The other night, my son was sitting with me watching a little TV before bedtime when he told me that he had found a hair growing out of his left armpit.
I don’t remember when it was exactly that I began to grow body hair, but I do remember not having any myself and feeling naked, standing in the locker room at school dressed in my shorts as all the other hairy ape-like cryptids in my class unselfconsciously moved about in the showers as men. And I felt odd. I felt as self-conscious as a naked girl in the boy’s locker room. I just didn’t belong.
So while I do not remember the day I’d discovered my first body hair, I remember all too well what it was like to not have body hair when everyone else did. It was with this in mind that I made a big deal out of my son’s faltering step toward puberty and congratulated him with an “Awesome!” slapping him on the back and asking him if he wanted me to take a picture for his baby book and perhaps throw a party and invite his grandparents. He failed to see the humor in this, but was glad all the same that I recognized this life event for what it was—he was becoming a man. At least as far as he was concerned. If he only knew… Continue reading