It was a day almost a year in the making--the day my eight-year-old daughter, Emily, was going to get her hair chopped off for Locks of Love. She orginally got the idea when she saw George Parros, of the Anaheim Ducks, cut off his long black hair for charity. Though she wanted to do it with him this winter (read that story here), the morning drama and the heat of the season got to be too much for her. She got it cut off and donated her hair this summer to Locks of Love.
I think it was harder on me than her. I was surprised I was so nervous about it. As we drove to the "salon" I felt nostalgic looking at her long locks and worried a little about what lay ahead. I remember too clearly the hair fiascos in my own past--frizzy perms,misguided asymmetrical bobs, and hair made orange by Sun-in. I worried for about half the drive, then I started to think about the moms whose daughters have cancer. How their worries and fears leap far past my frivolous concerns. And once again, I was surprised by my own pettiness. (When does that stop happening?) I snapped out of it and pulled out my camera.
Emily was unwavering and chatty through the entire thing. She proudly held up her ponytail to the camera and eagerly shoved it into the baggy. I have to admit, that ponytail was a little creepy, like carrying one of her limbs around in a ziplock. You don't realize how much your hair is a part of you until you see it severed and lonely through plastic. I guess that's all the more reason to support Locks of Love. Kids with cancer have already lost so much, this was a minor sacrifice in comparison.
Now Emily is asking all her friends to join her to grow their hair out for next year. She already has two friends on board and is hoping that this post will get more friends to participate. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your daughter is inspired. Maybe we can do a Locks of Love party when it's time to get it lopped off...