The Quarantine Cut

Dara LevanBlog, Every Soul Has A Story

April 18, 2020
A few days ago, I took photos of the orchids blooming in my backyard. Whenever I look at these artful flowers, it brings me back to an unforgettable weekend. The purple and white orchids have hugged my trees since 2015; we intentionally planted them a month before Alec’s bar mitzvah. And today marks five years since that meaningful milestone in Alec’s life.
I awoke this morning feeling deeply reflective and grateful. As I whisked eggs, I gazed up at Alec, noting the drastic difference in the boy who’s morphed to a young man. I again thought to myself how grateful I am to be home with him, Zoe, and my husband. We’ve had many unrushed conversations and new shared experiences.
Speaking of which, Alec told us he desperately needed a haircut. Zoe piped, “Oh let me do it! I can figure this out!” My brown eyes met my husband’s greenish-blue ones. No words were needed. We watched and waited.
To our surprise, Alec said, “Sure, why not?” So this morning, we gathered all of the supplies needed for what we’re now calling the “Quarantine Cut.” Zoe grabbed a blue and brown beach towel, purple plastic hair clips, and what appeared to be a beard trimmer.
She got right to work. Zoe is organized and meticulous, an old soul at only 15 years old. Zoe arranged the items on the kitchen island. She asked Alec to sit on the brown, shaky wood stool.
“Whoa no way guys!” I heard my husband shout as he walked toward them. “Uh no. Do this outside please. I don’t want hair all over the kitchen floor.”
He had a good point. I didn’t care because I was so caught up in the moment. It is ironic because I’m often teased about being such a clean freak! We all relocated to the patio. Alec looked understandably apprehensive. I noticed Zoe watching a “how to cut men’s hair” video on her phone. 
As I soaked in every second, I suddenly realized the symbolism of a first at home haircut. In the Jewish religion, for those who are observant, a boy’s first haircut is ceremonial and occurs at age three. It’s called an upsherin. I’ll never forget attending this sacred celebration years ago. It was sweet and a blessing to witness it.
Zoe and my husband carefully took turns trimming Alec’s hair. Poor kiddo’s face expressed impatience, worry, discomfort, and then relief. Then I realized the significance of it happening today. Five years since Alec’s bar mitzvah. And there’s dual symbolism: The number eighteen (“chai”) represents “life” in Hebrew.
We are at home because of the corona virus. We are staying in our shelter to stay safe. We are keeping ourselves healthy, living life in a different but precious, mindful way.
I also thought about trust. Alec trusting his younger sister with sharp shears and novice hands. Zoe trusting herself to do something that could clearly injure her brother’s head or ego. And I suppose, too, our family’s spontaneity and embracing a “what’s the worst that can happen” outlook.
And you know what? Not only does Alec’s hair look fabulous, but his younger sister and dad are proud of themselves. It took a team effort. I recorded each clip on my phone, but most importantly, in my mind. As whisps of hair fell to the floor, I continued to record each snippet. I’ll never forget this day.

With love and gratitude,

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