When Will started preschool seven years ago, I struggled with learning little girls’ names in his class. Nearly all of the girls had long hair pulled back in a pony-tail. With hair color ranging from nearly white blonde to light brown, but still in the blonde family. And blue eyes. By kindergarten, I had most of them figured out, or more to the point, I knew which mom each of them belonged to. Now with the boys being older, the passing of time has helped me easily identify the girls. With the exception of two in Liam's class: both have long, curly, blonde-ish hair and both wear glasses.
This was the second summer I took the boys to Camp Mujigae in Albany, New York. A Korean culture camp for Korean adoptees and their families. Last summer, one of the moms said, “Good luck finding your kids tomorrow at camp, especially from behind!” Yes. Last year, I called out to Liam several times one afternoon only to realize when the kid finally turned around that he wasn’t Liam.
As I looked around at the other boy campers, there was a pretty even mix between very short or rather long hair styles. Statistically speaking, that gave me a greater chance of identifying my sons from the back. Mine have long hair this summer.
As I met more parents, I recognized more boys. Or at least coupled the hair styles with the parents (aka: Joe and Rita’s son has long hair.) By the time the kids outgrow camp in ten years, I may know all the boys' names.
On the drive home, the boys had my phone and were looking at the pictures I had taken at camp. I asked them, in a very confusing way, if it was easy for them to tell the difference between the boys they met during the last couple days. “I don’t understand what you mean, Mom,” Will declared.
Yet, not even a minute later, he said, “Hey, why am I wearing glasses in this picture?!?!” It was a close-up of Liam and a camp friend – with long hair – standing side-by-side. It took Will a few seconds before he realized that the person next to Liam wasn’t him. Will laughed. “I thought you photo-shopped the glasses onto my face!”