“Hi, Mom,” Max called as he walked into the kitchen and set his backpack down.
“Hey, buddy.” Mom pulled Max into a big hug and ruffled his hair. “Wow. I can hardly see you under there! I think you need a haircut.”
Max grinned. “I was thinking the same thing. And I know just how I want it cut. You know that haircut where it’s shorter in the back and on the sides and longer on the top?” A lot of boys in Max’s class had that haircut. And so did Max’s favorite comic book character—Sam Slate, kid superspy.
“I’m not really an expert hair cutter, but I think I can do that,” Mom said.
“I’ll grab the clippers.” Max raced to the bathroom as fast as he could. He couldn’t wait for his awesome new haircut!
When Max got back, Mom was ready with a towel, a chair, and a hand mirror.
“How short do you want it in the back?” she asked. She showed Max the clipper sizes, one through eight. “The smaller the clipper number, the shorter it cuts the hair.”
“Hmm.” Max sorted through the different clippers. “Maybe a size two on the bottom and a seven on top?”
“All right. Have a seat. World’s best haircut coming up!” Mom draped the towel over Max’s shoulders and turned on the clippers. Max listened to the buzzing sound as she trimmed around his ears. The falling hair tickled the back of his neck. Max tried to picture how he’d look when Mom was done. He could already feel himself transforming into Sam Slate.
Max’s younger sister, Emma, came in through the front door.
“Hi, Mom! I’m home.”
“We’re in the kitchen, honey,” Mom called.
Emma poked her head through the doorway. “Oh! Looking good.” She came in and dropped her backpack on the table. “I’m starving!”
“Me too,” Max said.
Emma peeked into a cupboard. “Can I make peanut butter crackers, Mom?”
“Sure. Can you make Max some too?”
“OK.” Emma stood on her tiptoes to reach for the peanut butter on the top shelf. “It’s too high. Mom, can you help me?”
“Good timing. I just finished with the back.” Mom switched off the clippers and went to help Emma. Then she came back and stood in front of Max. “OK, now for part two.”
Max was so excited that he wanted to jump out of his chair. But he sat very still. Mom made the first cut. Then she gasped.
“What’s wrong?” Max asked.
Mom bit her lip. “Max, I am so sorry! I forgot to change out the clippers for the top.”
Max’s heart sank. He slowly picked up the mirror.
“I can cut the rest of your hair short to match,” Mom said. “But that’s the best I can do.”
Max stared at the big chunk of missing hair. He definitely didn’t look like Sam Slate. He looked like a disaster! For a second, he wanted to shout or maybe cry. But instead, he took a deep breath. Mom was just trying to help. After a minute, he felt a lot calmer.
“It’s OK, Mom. After all, hair grows back, right?” he said with a smile.
Mom gave him a hug. “Right. And when it does, I’ll triple-check the settings so you can have the world’s best haircut.”
Mom finished cutting Max’s hair. It wasn’t the cool style Max wanted, but it was OK. Max smiled as he looked in the mirror again. He had followed Jesus by choosing to be kind. And being like Jesus was even better than being like Sam Slate.