Thursday, 25 August 2016

I Am Not My Hair

Growing up as the son of a hairdresser I spent too much time as a kid sitting bored during holiday season or after school as finished in a quiet corner of the salon so as an adult the last place I want to spend any time at all is the hairdressers or barbers. I want to get in and, as little time sitting waiting for my name to be called and having my head in front of the mirror as possible

Not much in the way of chit chat, or small talk. No fussing, no running a hand through my hair looking into my eyes through the mirror reflection and asking me whether I want it this way or that. I'm happiest when there is no wait, and they just get down to it, spray my greasy hair with water, ignore any instructions I may have because quite frankly beyond getting rid of that annoying bit at the back that curls up when its getting too long I don't really know anyway. I'm quite happy if the barber just treats my head like its the Australian Sheep-shearing championship, scissors, comb, shoves my head from side to side, snip, snip, snip, done.

And yet dispute all this being true for me, there is a part of me that walks past strangers in the street and sees amazing hair on a daily basis and has a little bit of envy, not jealousy as such (because I'm way to lazy for that) but more awe. Some people seem to have hair that is like an extension of their character and personality, and others can rock having no hair. And then there is me washing mine with cheap shampoo and wondering why it feel likes straw afterwards and not caring enough to change it, as long as its not starting to curl up at the back – because then it has to come off.

Maybe I should start a new photo project and capture some of that wonderful hair out there, now that would be irony - something Mr I've spent so much time avoiding any interest in turning full circle to his roots.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

At this time of year, my heart has been at its heaviest the last couple of years. Back when I was married and living in the States, it was about this time of year that we as a couple got to keep the kids for the Summer months. As a couple we always busy and having two kids that needed to be entertained did add a little extra stress at for those 12 weeks of Summer, especially when both kids seemed to have very different eating choices at night. However despite the stress, it was a beautiful time of the year, it was a time that allowed to me to build a relationship with two loving needy kids, time that was denied us for much of the year but for every second weekend when they were getting schooled in another State.

I wasn't around for their births, I wasn't their blood father, but when I came into their lives at 5 and 3 respectfully, as someone who was marrying their mother I made the commitment to be part of their lives forever. Being a step father is never easy, trying to get the right balance, when their real father is still very much part of their lives, can be difficult. It can also be trying, I am not someone who cries easily, but there were times when something my stepkids could say something that could hurt deeply that maybe on another day wouldn't hurt so bad. And yet there was so much joy, for five years I watched as those kids grew up, and experienced life, and I miss being apart of that every day.4

I will always be there for those two beautiful kids, that my heart thinks of as my own, I still hope that one day I can take them around Scotland, and the world. I just hope that now that I am no longer with their mother, that the chapter I was in their lives doesn't become forgotten in the annuls of time.

A lot has been made of what happens to kids and parents when a marriage breaks down, but not much is written or talked about when a second marriage breaks down, and relationships are built up and pulled apart between kids and step parents. It can be truly heartbreaking.