If you like Her View, you'll love our new book, So God Made a Mother. Pre-Order here ➡️

“Thank you for cutting his hair,” I’ve told Emily many times in passing, or lightheartedly over text. I wish I could show her what it actually means in my heart.

“I’ll go in by myself,” he says.

Instantly, my mind flashes from the achingly handsome 10-year-old standing in front of me to the toddler he once was. I see his 2-year-old self standing before me in our mudroom. Fresh from Kids Cuts, a soggy sticker on his T-shirt that reads “I GOT MY HAIRCUT.” A red and blotchy face from crying, eyes swollen. The buzz cut was the quickest way to get through.

RELATED: Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

My husband shuffles in, he looks tired but tries to be upbeat. “It wasn’t that bad,” he lies. My stomach turns picturing the sweetest soul I’ve ever known silently crying in the chair as the lady forces the buzzer across.

There is nothing harder for him than a haircut. 

We used to see Em for haircuts before his autism really started to show. She gave him his first haircut at 7 months old. It was in a fancy salon that smelled like Aveda products and had exposed brick.  All the fancy older ladies getting their blowouts went on and on about how cute he was and how much hair he had. Emily joyfully trimmed away. My husband even took an extra long lunch to come see us at the salon.

Fast forward six months . . . I stopped taking him to Em. Even though she handled it more than kindly, his autism made haircuts unbearable. I couldn’t subject her, and the fancy older ladies to how hard he cried. Our only solution was the dreaded buzz cut from Kids Cuts.

Emily eventually moved into her own space. I still saw her for my hair, and she never stopped asking for another try with my son. She is a very persistent individual with cute style and a big laugh. She spent months convincing me to bring him back.  

Finally, I gave in, and there were definitely tearsmaybe from all three of us! Not an easy haircut.

I figured it was back to the buzz.

“See you in four weeks?” she asked. I reluctantly booked another appointment. As time went on, Em pulled out all the stopstreats, quiet buzzers she bought especially for him, and his favorite, talking about The Monster At The End of This Book.  

RELATED: The Struggle You Don’t See in a Special Needs Family

It took years . . . but she did it. The tears stopped altogether. She and I could even have our own conversation. I remember walking in once and catching my breath because I finally wasn’t nervous, and neither was he.

Emily didn’t need our business, in fact, she never cut kids. “He just needs me,” she said. 

At his most recent haircut, I parked and started to grab my purse. “I’ll go in by myself,” he said.

I was stunned.

I tentatively handed him the rolled-up money; my eyes asked him if he was sure. His perfectly tanned hand grabbed the money happily, and I could tell he felt proud.

Emily waved from the door, trying to hide her giggles. She was smiling, he was smiling. I let out a breath I had been holding for eight long years. 

I sent Em a text . . . “Thanks for cutting his hair.” 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Krystal Sieben

Hi, I'm Krystal. Minnesota wife and mom of three great kids, two rescue dogs, and a Fjord horse named Syver. Former middle school teacher turned nonprofit director. A chance meeting with a special horse changed my path, and I now run Three Little Burdes Nonprofit. Our goal is to provide adults and children of all abilities with an introduction to ponies and horses. Check us out! https://threelittleburdes.com/

The Right Response to Learning My Son Has Autism? Listen.

In: Motherhood

“Are you sure about that diagnosis?” I blinked at her in surprise. My son was recently diagnosed with autism, and I had just told one of his teachers.  Before you ask, no, this teacher did not have a Ph.D. in pediatric neuropsychiatry. She was a karate instructor who had seen my child one hour a week for a year. I wanted to tell her about our multi-year struggle to get this diagnosis. The arguments with the pediatrician as she brushed aside my concerns. The hours of phone calls with providers and the hundreds of pages of paperwork. The thousands of...

Keep Reading

The Humbling Journey of Loving a Child With Autism

In: Kids, Motherhood
autism www.herviewfromhome.com

I had gone through the early years successfully with two children. I honed your mom-voice and “angry eyes” to expert level, and my kids knew at first glance when I meant business. I was experienced, and not to toot my own horn, a highly effective mom. Then my youngest came along and every single thing I thought I knew about discipline shattered. My son, rather than being dissuaded from an undesired action when told “no” is encouraged to do more, the firmer the response, the more he repeats the behavior. Instead of becoming terrified in the aftermath of stumbling into the path of...

Keep Reading

Autism Is Not the End of the Road

In: Inspiration, Kids, Motherhood
Autism Is Not the End of the Road www.herviewfromhome.com

Eight and a half years ago, a wonderful thing happened. I gave birth to my first and only child, my son Michael. He made quite the entrance into our world, arriving after a twenty six hour labor with an emergency caesarian section in the wee hours of the morning. The joy I felt at becoming a Mom was unparalleled by anything else I had ever experienced. I looked at his beautiful little healthy body, his cute little face. He was perfect in every way. I didn’t know then, that three and half years later I would be sitting in a...

Keep Reading