Hans is growing out his hair. It is longer than mine, straight bangs hanging down in front, just allowing his eyes to peek out. He’s always liked it straight down, while I have always thought that he had a handsome forehead. Just like mothers have done for millenia, I sweep it off his forehead and he mashes it back down with both his hands.
It’s his hair and his face, and I’m going to let him look like he wants to look.
Except that now, with his locks creeping ever lower, he looks more like Justin Bieber with each passing day. The teen singing sensation. Justin is something like 16, looks 12, and he is very hot right now. Which would make you think that Hans would be happy about looking like him.
But he’s not. When we call him J.B., he get’s that look on his face that says he’d like to hurt us. Anders can’t help himself, and teases him to no end. It’s all in good fun, but Hans sees it as being mean and teasing, and can get so wrapped up in it that he has come to tears. They went so far as to make a bet that Anders would pay Hans $5 if he made any reference to J.B., and that included singing any song, using a napkin as a microphone, or playing with his hair. Of course, as he considered it, Anders sang, “Maybe, maybe, maybe …. Ohhh!”
That was last weekend. This weekend we went for a bike ride with friends into San Francisco, and somehow J.B. came up. Stern looks from Hans. Funny comments from friends. All in fun. On the ferry ride home, with the two grown men flanking Hans and razzing him and calling him J.B., and Paula and I facing them, I turned to her and said, “Wouldn’t it be hysterical if the guy on the announcement on the boat said something about how they had a special guest on board?”
I was kidding, of course. I wouldn’t do that to my kid. But it would be fantastic.
And then, as if the Universe was listening, exit stage right Anders to go to the bathroom and enter stage left a young girl of about 14. She came right over to Hans, with a pen and a piece of paper in her outstretched hand. ”Would you please sign this?” she asked Hans, looking from me to him and back at me. Hans, who obviously thought his father was involved, looked at the floor and shook his head. I smiled at her, because I was SURE she had been put up to it, wondered how on earth Anders had managed to get someone so convincing so quickly, and kind of wanted her to go. But she wasn’t leaving. ”Please, please. Just sign this.”
I told her that he wasn’t who she thought he was, and by this time Hans had turned his back to the poor girl and buried his head in the seat. He was that embarrassed. But she wasn’t buying it. And then she said, “I don’t care. Just have him sign it.”
Of course, he didn’t, and she left with the same pen and the same piece of paper unmarked. When Anders returned to our seats and I told him what happened, he had a look on his face that absolutely told me he hadn’t set Hans up. And he confirmed it when I asked. Paula said, scouts honor, she would have fessed up if she’d been involved, and Johnny hadn’t left his seat.
I mean, what are the odds?