Tools of the barber

While taking a break last night from writing and my wife giving the 3-year-old a bath, I could spend a few quiet minutes with my 12-month-old son. He was getting close to falling asleep and we laid down together on the bed while he had some milk.

After slurping down the last drop, Jasper didn’t seem so tired anymore. He wanted to play. So we played a few tickle games and the adorable baby laughs filled the room.

But then he zeroed in on my face.

Now as I’ve grown older, I’ve lost a lot of hair on top. Unfortunately, it grows uncontrollably in other spots. You know what I mean — chest, ears, nostrils, eyebrows. It’s just part of the hand dealt to us men in the Fuqua clan.

I can recall from my own childhood looking up at Grandpa Fuqua and being somewhat amazed at the amount of wiry, gray chest hair poking out of the top of his T-shirts. For some reason, it just completed the picture with his bib overalls and chewing tobacco stains. Yep, that’s Grandpa.

Amid the pandemic, I haven’t been getting haircuts on a regular basis. OK, I’ll admit … I usually wait too long to get a haircut even when there is no pandemic. Part of the haircut experience is asking my barber to trim the eyebrows, a task that seems so personal for them that I often find myself leaving a bigger tip at the cash register because of the road I asked them to traverse when they probably just want to get me out of the chair.

Let’s just say the eyebrows need a trim. And Jasper noticed.

Fortunately, the brows didn’t scare him. He tugged on them and threw me some of those cute baby smiles. Then he tugged on them some more. It feels a little strange when your out-of-control eyebrows are the center of attention, but he’s a baby. He’s allowed.

Tomorrow morning, I just might dig out those tiny little scissors that I ended up with years ago out of a gifted travel toiletries kit and go to work on the brows. I mean, perhaps it’s a sign that you need a trim when the 12-month-old starts pulling on them.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News and spends what little free time he has with his wife and two young sons. Do you have a fun story to share about your kids or grandkids? Email it to me at and it just might end up in a future post).