Sunday morning I made the mistake of mentioning a haircut to my five year old. She decided to grow out her hair about two years ago and it’s past her shoulder blades. She wants, “Rapunzel hair”. Nevermind that Rapunzel is portrayed as taking care of that long mane without tears and there was never a momma who chased her with a brush all the while threatening to never let her eat French fries again if she didn’t listen. Story’s hair is thick and slick and slides out of any braid. It feels like silk in your fingers and is too healthy to hold a ponytail.
She insisted that no haircut was needed and I said out loud to myself, “you know I bet you have enough hair to donate your ponytail” and she began to ask about how you do that and why. I explained that sometimes kids have cancer and get medicine that makes their hair fall out and how expensive wigs are and so on and so forth. I watched my innocent five year olds face register understanding and she immediately began to tear up and said she wanted to cut her hair.
I thought she’d forget about it and I could pretend it was fine and run my hands through that sweet little head of hair every night. Instead she became more insistent that she wanted her hair cut. Tonight she refused to sleep and said she needed her hair cut. She said, “God likes it when we have a giving heart.”
So, being a former hairdresser, I got out of bed and placed her in a barstool and followed the instructions on how to cut the hair to send it in and donate it for a child’s wig. The first cut was hard but once you start there is no turning back. I watched her hold her head higher and sit up straighter with each minute. We were talking about funny things her brother and sister did when they were her age. She was listening and laughing. I’d hold each ponytailout to her, full of her sweet hair and let her see.
At one point she got a little sad and I said, “somewhere in a hospital bed s a little girl your age taking medicine that will make her hair fall out and she’s worried about starting school without her hair. She thinks the other kids will laugh at her.” Every ounce of sadness left Story’s face and she responded with, “They won’t laugh at her bc she’ll have my hair to wear now.” Once the haircut was over (not including the strays I’ll likely find tomorrow) she seemed so much happier. I told her how proud I was of her and she said, “Since you told me about those sick kids God has been telling me that I’m supposed to do this.”
I am blown away by that giving heart. I’m amazed at her moral compass. I don’t know what you believe in and if I read this story from someone else I’d likely not believe it. But tonight I was shown by a child that sometimes the right thing to do is scary and hard but it’s still the right thing to do. This was so hard for me. She’s my last little one. But I have to have a giving heart and give her the freedom to be who she is.