Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mommyblogging: Curly's Hair

You've been warned. This bit is mommy-blogging. Trophy cupcakes is mentioned (as it should be, because they make damn fine cupcakes), but it's really just about me being anxious about one of my kids. You've been warned. Curly had her hair cut for donation today. I wish I could say I was completely happy about it. I’ve known for about a year that she’s wanted to donate. I paved that particular path for her myself, since I donated my own hair, and when she questioned it, I pointed out to her that it was just hair for me, and it would grow back for me, while there were kids for whom it wouldn’t grow back, or that even a short time without hair would be hard, when their lives are hard enough. Right. I’d forgotten that I’m her mom, and Her Role Model (and it would be, apparently, wrong for me to tell the kid that she has really bad taste in role models). So she decided she was going to donate, too, and I thought it was sweet. Until she started asking me, a few weeks ago, when I was going to schedule her hair cut for donating her hair.
The thing is, I think she has beautiful hair. It’s curly (thus the nickname), full of beautiful highlights, thick, shiny and generally the sort of thing that grown women pay hundreds of dollars trying to replicate. I would never have let it grow quite so long if she hadn’t been planning on donating it, but I love her hair. I like the time (in which she’s not fussy and I’m not crabby) that we spend with me gently brushing it through and the two of us chatting and me getting to kiss her plentifully. Other times, I admit, the amount of grooming it requires can be onerous. Could be onerous. Because it’s past tense right now.

And so I postponed making an appointment. Because what I wanted to tell her was that she didn’t have to do it, that we could get her a trim and forget the whole thing. But she said she really wanted to do it, so I shut my mouth and made the appointment.

And today… we did it. I managed not to cry (it was close, much closer than when, for instance, that baaad Beaver butt-ended me in the ribs), or to make a last minute, last ditch attempt to dissuade her from doing something nice for kids who have cancer or alopecia or something else unpleasant in which hair loss is another blow that points out how far their lives have diverged from the life of a normal kid like Curly, who gets to spend her summer pig-piled with cousins, taking swim lessons, riding her bike and watching the piranhas at the zoo be fed live fish. I couldn’t go to sleep last night because I kept thinking about what if the cut wrecked her hair and she looked awful and was unhappy and that was what I was teaching my kid. As it turns out, she was thrilled to do it. Proud as could be, and delighted that I bought her, and all the kids and grown-ups, full-sized cupcakes because she’d donated her hair. The pink cupcake in the center, by the way, that has flower-frosting, is hers.
But I miss her beautiful hair. It's not as if her hair isn't beautiful any longer, but... it's so cropped. Suddenly, I understand the stricken face my husband has made each time I've donated my hair.
Of course, she said she wanted to donate again, so it looks like I get to have all these feelings that I’m not supposed to voice AGAIN. Fun!

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