So as we speak my nephew Isaiah is visiting from New York.
Actually, Isaiah and his Afro.
Isaiah is 14, and he’s a wonderful kid. Smart and funny and sharp. Tremendous attitude toward life, slides into our world and seamlessly becomes a part of the day-to-day rhythm.
Anyhow, the one bonus piece that comes with Isaiah is his hair, which is just … just … just—splendid. For the past, oh, five years, Isaiah has sported the Afro of dreams. Now, I’m a guy who grew up admiring the Afros of athletes; knowing that I’d never be able to emulate an Oscar Gamble or Omar Moreno when it came to my hair stylings. But I could enjoy it from afar, and dream of one day taking my crappy short hair and turning it into something magical.
Alas, not all dreams come true. But this is close. Two days ago Isaiah and I spent the day at an outdoor basketball court in Laguna Beach, and I’d say, oh, five or six times someone stopped us to admire his hair. The people varied in age, in demographic, in race, in gender. But they all expressed a joyful admiration for the best trim known to man. And what I loved—like, really loved—was the joy Isaiah took from the feedback. He feels genuine pride in the awesomeness of his head, and walks with a physical confidence I lacked at his age.
So, no, I’ll never grow an Afro.
But I can borrow the love.