A Part

My youngest son has hair that is completely different than mine. It is entirely straight; it does not sprout from his head, it simply falls. Hair such as his does not seem to naturally part, and I find myself continually, almost absently, pushing his hair away from his eyes and to one side. It is as if my fingers have become wiper blades on an intermittent setting.

It struck me one day that his hair is not really in his eyes as much as I think. He rarely brushes it aside, and goes about unbothered by the way it hangs. I realized that my brushing away hair that really isn’t in his way is in some respects me filling a need of my own — the need to touch him, to shape him, both literally and figuratively.