Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#thatsagoodlookinghead


i watched an adorably sweet video today. something passed around the internet, being shared on facebook multiple times by everyone who has a heart. a little girl who wanted to cut her hair so someone could make it into a wig for a child who was bald from chemo. 

she said "they don't have hair and thats so sad".

only its not sad. 

she's only 3. she doesn't know how irrationally (i know its irrational) irritated i became about this. 

what's sad is that a child who is bald has to do chemo because of a tumor or cancer... 

what's not sad is that child is fighting. the day you walk past that kid at the grocery store, with no hair, is another day that kid is winning. 

when they told us reese had to do chemo, which i assumed would happen, i knew hair loss was simply a factual side effect. a means to an end, i said. it has to be done... so be it. i put my brave face on and said "let's go".

2012-11-05_011

and those next weeks, a child who once was tormented by the use of a brush on her hair, relished in it. we would brush her hair to calm her. i'd run my fingers through her loose curls. hair loss is so symbolic of your child's life changing. you can see, every day, on the outside, that things are no longer the same. i started to feel so sad of what was to come. 

2012-11-29_007 2012-11-11_011

only it wasn't sad. 

we finally cut her hair in january 2013, since it was starting to itch as it fell out. we'd find hairs all over her clothes, in her food, on her pillow. it was time. it was the beginning of a new hope. hope that the medicine was working. 

soon, her eyelashes fell out for the first time. one by one. or, if reese had itched her eye vigorously, several at a time.

last eyelash1

her eyebrows were gone. and finally, almost skin bald. 

when some months have less chemo, a white poof surrounds her head like a halo. she gets some eyelashes in, different looking than before, but beautiful. her eyebrows are patchy. then, all too soon, they'd fall out again. 

for reese, it also shows the scars of surgery. 2 brain surgeries.

after m&c bath3

reese thinks she has pink hair. right now, i think its a mohawk, if i remember the most recent beauty parlor session with her sisters. she asks for ponytails and i, eagerly, oblige. pretending to pull her hair from all sides of her head, into a top whale spout.

SR brush hair8bw

the photos of her from before, she identifies as "miller!" and her identity is bald reese. she has no idea that she once had hair. she recognizes herself in baby photos by her bald, round head. 

i am certain that older children who have lost their hair to chemotherapy are self conscious. but i so wish that wasn't the case. i wish that hair wasn't a stigma of healthy and bald, sick. but that bald was a sign of a certain amazing fighter who was winning the war - even if just for that moment. 

i wish, when children asked questions in front of their parents, that parents responded with uplifting comments of hope and determination - that their child can spread to others. to let those bald kids radiate the confidence that they deserve to show to the world.

aidan LDOS kindy31

sawyer introduces reese with "...and this is reese. she has no hair." fact. reese smiles, sometimes takes her hat off in pride, if she has one on, but she has no idea how that head makes other people feel. 

i am beyond grateful that wig making companies, for kids, are available. and that so many people choose to donate their hair for any sweet child who just wants to feel normal. 

but, oh how i hope that one day, those wigs won't be needed. that any child can feel normal, no matter what type of hair they have. no matter what type of "normal" they are living.

...because the lack of hair isn't sad. its the first casualty of war.

2013 BB26


#thatsagoodlookinghead on IG (punkfictionv4) for reese's bald head around town.
www.facebook.com/gingerfight

10 comments:

  1. This gave me chills and I love your suggestion of how we as parents can explain it when our kids ask! My 5 yo son just asked the other day why a lady at the grocery was bald. I gave my standard "because God made everyone is different and that is awesome!" but I definitely know now what I'll say next time. Reese is a BA, as are you mama! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are so right......
    Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This video was the first thing I thought of when I read this post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVS2DP0RQvU This guy made a whole album for these brave kids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Having a teenager who thought her hair was one of the things that made her beautiful was hard for her to accept it was going to fall out until it did. Then I watched my beautiful daughter embrace her real beauty start high school this year completely bald. She has more confidence in her self and knows she is beautiful with or without hair. She too is marked with two surgery scars and I'm so proud to be in her life, to be her mom and to be able to watch her grow into a young lady who knows no limits based on appearance. Thank you for sharing. Reese is beautiful. Her smile is contagious! Your family is precious and I pray for you every day.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I saw that video this morning and thought the same thing... having no hair isnt a tragedy like its made out to be, it just is. I, personally, love Reese's bald head! I think she looks adorable just the way she is.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As always, this is a great post! It really made me do some deep thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such an eye-opening post. Beautiful and empowering ♡♡♡

    ReplyDelete
  8. I cried through this entire post! You have such a beautiful way with words, and I wish I could share this so more people could read it. You and your family are always in my thoughts, prayers and heart!

    ReplyDelete