It just so happens that we have a friend who shares the same name as Mr Justice – let us call this friend Poetic Justice (or PJ for short).
You might think this is coincidental but in fact we knew PJ long before Mr Justice burst into our world and he actually helped us settle on [Justice] as the name for our firstborn son. You see, when I was heavily pregnant, my husband rang PJ to ask his opinion. For not only was PJ funny, handsome and clever and like some kind of walking advertisement for the name of [Justice], he had also tried and tested it in the schoolyards of Western Australia.
I think the telephone conversation started off with my husband saying something like “We’re not stalking you, but…” and PJ was able to tell him, with great confidence, “I have never had a problem with my name!” shortly before taking out a restraining order on us and/or moving to Amsterdam. Can’t remember which.
A few years later, there came a time when PJ and his wife lived in the same city as us and they would come over on Saturday nights and teach us how to play Texas Hold ‘Em poker. It was around this time that I earnt my fearsome reputation ’round the card table as “The Serpent Queen” and they moved interstate, although they said that the two events weren’t related. They said.
Anyway, the Pixie thinks PJ is very handsome. I know this because she told me so.
“He’s very handsome!” she announced brightly one day, after a brief interstate visit from PJ. Then she added, somewhat dreamily: “He has King Hair!”
King Hair? I was intrigued. Even more so when she made another King Hair pronouncement about an older boy she’d been following around at a party, all wide-eyed and doting, no doubt basking in the glow of his King Hair. The boy’s hair wasn’t anything like PJ’s… but then I thought maybe, just maybe, it’s not about the actual hair. Maybe it’s about the quality of the man behind the hair. Maybe my daughter is already an astute judge of character at the ripe old age of five.
Of course my husband couldn’t resist asking her if he himself was blessed with “King Hair” and she said “Yes”, but in that way that made it clear she was only saying “Yes” because she knew he wanted her to say yes.
But when I asked The Pixie later in private, she confirmed his King Hair status. And she explained herself further: for hair to be considered king-like, it had to be “smooth”. By which I think she meant “straight” or maybe even just “combed”. There went my “quality of the man” theory… although, there’s a lot to be said for a man who maintains personal grooming standards.
Still, as a turn of phrase,”King Hair” conjured up such visions of romance in my mind that I felt a little unnerved. Surely my little girl shouldn’t be thinking about romance until she was old enough to read those Sweet Valley High books? (That’s apparently somewhere around third grade).
But then I remembered how, when I myself was five, I used to draw pictures of princes and princesses holding hands together on the inside cover of my colouring-in books. I remember the flush of excitement I’d get imagining myself holding hands with such a prince, who always had dark hair and dark eyes (my own “King Hair” equivalent). Of course, it took me years and years (and years!) of heart-ache before a certain red-headed blue-eyed man met me at Bristol Temple Meads Station and took my hand, and then went on to marry me (although not at Bristol Temple Meads Station, I hasten to add).
So I know that the path ahead of The Pixie is long and hard and probably filled with ignoble wolves hiding behind their carefully combed hair. But my hope is that she will get there in the end and find what her little heart yearns for, “King Hair” or no.