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Today my youngest son did something so incredibly brave that it brings tears to my eyes as I type.
He cut his hair.
Seems like an odd thing to call brave, I know. But through 20 something surgeries, countless nights in the hospital and more ups and downs than any person (let alone a 13 year old) should ever have to endure his hair has been something of a constant.
You know the story about Samson and his hair? Well, I liken Carters hair to that. As a really young kid he would have to have it shaved for brain surgeries. And as he got older, the length of his hair sort of acted like a marker of time- time in between having his head opened up. His crazy long, beautiful curls hid so many battle scars.
I hated Carters hair long. But I also knew how important is was to him. And I never, ever fought him on it. Even when I was cutting matted pieces from long stays on hospital pillows, or small dreads he would twist up when he was nervous, out.
It was his thing. Whatever. As parents, we pick and choose our battles and quite frankly, this was one not worth fighting. I figured he would outgrow it.
and he did….
and now I am the one crying over it. Not him. He seems to be growing up over night. One minute I was carefully broaching the subject that Heidi, my dear friend and the person who has come to the house to cut Carters hair for years, was going to stop by the next day. Braced to hear the usual “oh, no, oh, no Heidi doesn’t need to trim my hair” instead he said “I think I am ready to cut it off”. You could have heard a pin drop.
We talked about donation. Oddly enough I had recently had some friends tell me about the Pantene Beautiful Locks program and why they felt that was a better choice than Locks Of Love. After looking into them both, we decided the Pantene program was a better fit for Carter’s gorgeous hair.
We looked at pictures of him from 2006 which was the last time his hair was short and we found a look he liked. Looking at that years scrapbook reassured him that in 3 months his hair could be relatively long again if he hated the new ‘do.
Heidi came today and I was sure he was going to back out. But he didn’t. He took a moment in his usual hilarity to say a final goodbye to it and then he was ready.
He looks so much older. So much like his brother. So much like his dad. It’s odd to see his face. He is so handsome. I wish I could share a picture but he asked me not to here. So you will just have to take my word for it.
I am sure if you have never met Carter, you won’t understand the significance of this seemingly simple act. But those of you that do know him, know that this was an immeasurable act of bravery. One of many that he has had. But more significant in ways because this was his choice.
I couldn’t be prouder of him….