United Noodles

There’s a company not far from here that’s called “United Noodles”. It seems like a funny name, but pertinent to a company dealing with noodles. I used to imagine this was some kind of think tank – everyone putting their noodles together to solve a problem. You see most problems can be solved. However, there are those things that we might consider a problem that can’t be solved. Where’s your good ole American ingenuity, you might say. We went to the moon. We can solve anything. Sorry to say that some things just need to be left alone. One such thing has been plaguing my family tree for some years. There is a long line of small heads that seems to have infested our family tree like a tent worms. Everyone has their own personal cross to bear and my family’s seems to be smaller than ever head sizes.

Ok, stop with the circus talk. No one is paying to see us. For the most part we are able to walk around amongst the rest of you undetected. If you are wondering what sets us apart you can look for the tell-tale signs of sunglasses looking too big – not like the Olson twins – while they are sliding off a straight narrow European nose. Hats generally need to be set to the smallest setting to fit properly. In some instances a baseball cap bill may wrap around to provide shade for ears. My family history has  been on a collision course with small headiness for some time now with no adjustments being made to right the small headed family ship. Both my mom and dad came from small head lineages. Corrective action could have been taken by either one of them to make a better cap wearing life for their offspring – but they chose not to.

I’m not a soothsayer so I can’t say…ah…sooth. Sorry about that. I can’t say why my parents each chose small headed partners. Were they drawn together by seeing in each other what they saw in each other. Whatever it was they obviously weren’t thinking of the continuing smaller of their ancestors heads. Maybe they were drawn together by a common head size when they were opposites in many ways. My mom is of Irish descent and my dad is of English descent. I have friends who bemoan the difficulties of being raised in the shadows of two religions such as Judaism and Catholicism (I like to say a little Jewy and a little Cathy). I say poppycock to that difficulty. Both of those religions have guilt at the heart of them (possibly arguable by their respective leaders). Catholic guilt and Jewish guilt are, at the end of the day, just guilt.

To complicate things even further, I also married a small head. This single act almost assured that our children would be born with tennis balls for heads. Of course, I’m joking, we have no history of tennis balls in our family tree so this isn’t really possible, but I think you get me point. Our first, Lila, was born and her head size was in the 10 percentile range. Hoyt was a bit better, dipping into the 15 percentile club. I should say that there was a bit of joy over the small head size from the mother of the those children. The smaller head size translated into one less on the frowny face pain chart in the hospital delivery room. Finally, there came along Iris, the surprise child. When I say surprise I don’t mean like in one of those TV shows where the woman doesn’t know she’s having a baby and suspects a bad case of gas. Number three Iris flew into this world quickly. Something immediately seemed different about her. Her head, it was her head. Somehow it looked different. Cynthia and I held hands and shook with glee as the nurse wrapped the little tape measure around Iris’ head. Then we saw it on paper. Iris was in the 50 percentile for baby cranium size.

Iris has become our Great Head Hope. We’ve pinned all of our normal head size dreams on her. At this time it looks like Hoyt and Lila are doing fine with their head growth, but that can change at any moment. Iris has the head start (no pun intended) that is needed to get ahead (sorry) in the world of head size. We’re dreaming of going with her to try on hats and sunglasses and saying things like, “That’s our girl. Look at her head,” to passerbyers. What if this could mean that with a normal sized head there could also be a normal sized mouth with no need for braces or pulling of teeth because of crowding. We’re not going to hold our breath. We take every day as a blessing. We try to make the other children be more careful around her head and when she’s older we’ll have to explain to her how she needs to be sensitive to the possibility that her siblings will have special cap needs. She’ll have to avoid wearing the siblings sunglasses and bending the frames out of shape. But these are all little things that can be dealt with. We are just so lucky to have her head to bring up the household average.

Now, when I drive by the United Noodles building I only think about my family and how diverse we are – with small head and normal head sizes living together as one happy family.

Sadly Yours,

Jason Spafford

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