It started in 2007.
I had had the same hair for over 20 years, and I was ready for a change. I decided that since I was planning to go from long to short I should donate my hair and make a difference in someone's life. I had thought to donate to Locks of Love, which was the only place I'd ever heard of that accepted hair donations, but my friend and stylist pointed out to me that they're Americans and, nothing against our pals to the south, there are lots of Canadians who need the same loving gift. And, bless her, she pointed me towards A Child's Voice Foundation. One of their programs is called Angel Hair for Kids and it provides wigs to children experiencing hair loss for any one of a number of reasons.
I went ahead and chopped off my long tresses and sent them on to Angel Hair.
It felt good.
Shortly after that my mother started planning her wedding and our Princess decided that if she was going to be a flower girl then she needed long beautiful hair. She started growing it.
And it grew, and it grew, and it grew.
It grew and started bugging her. She would often talk about how she was going to chop it all off as soon as the wedding was over.
After the wedding in July 2009 though, I reminded her of how I donated my hair. We talked about what it would feel like to be a little girl and go bald, and how it would feel to donate. I told her that if she was going to chop it off anyway, it would be so much nicer to give it to someone who needed it than to throw it in the garbage. She agreed and we measured, but she was an inch too short. So we let it grow a bit more. That summer she had me measure her hair almost daily. She wanted to cut it! She wanted to donate it!
Finally, FINALLY, it was long enough. And then she got serious.
"Do I HAVE to cut it?"
It turns out she liked it long. In fact, she loved it long. She loved ponytails and pigtails and braids and people stopping her to compliment her long, beautiful hair.
Being someone who's had long hair for the majority of her life, I told her that OF COURSE she didn't have to cut it! It's her hair, and it's hers to do with as she will. The only reason I would make her cut it is if she stopped caring for it and it was all tangled and impossible.
So that was that. It was never discussed again.
And then in August, when we were back from vacation, we came in late to church one week and there was our friend Malachi, finally back amongst us.
She was so excited.
"He's back! He's back" she frantically whispered in my ear.
And then she got really quiet.
And she kept looking over her shoulder at him.
And later that day she came to me and in a quiet voice said "I'm ready to donate my hair now".
And my heart broke into a million pieces and dropped at her feet.
I thought I'd give her some time to be sure. Later that week we took Sweetpea to the salon for a trim and she wanted to do the donation right there and then. I wouldn't let her. We hadn't gone online to double check the length and procedure in a while, and what if it changed? And we didn't have a ziplock bag to put the hair in and keep it clean and safe.
She stuck to her guns though. Once that girl makes up her mind, nothing stops her. We went to the website, watched the video testimonies, printed out the instructions, and contacted one of my old YW who is going to school to become a stylist and is already quite talented. I waited a couple of weeks and never heard back from her, so I called a local lady and made an appointment.
Yesterday was finally the day.
Cut, um, twice. We have very thick hair. Genetics on both sides of the family. We had to go with two ponytails, and it was still quite the sawing routine to cut though all that hair. Really thick hair.
Ready for donation.
Excited! This girl grinned through the entire process.
Compare before (first day of school) and after:
I'm so proud of her I could burst. And she made me promise not to tell anyone what she was planning (not even Hubby) so she's LOVING surprising people. She did give me permission to write this post, since she's seeing most people at school today. She actually keeps surprising me. I see this short haired girl out of the corner of my eye and wonder who it is. I keep having to take double looks at my own girl.
Aaaaaand, she's inspired me. I was going to get my hair in a bob similar to hers, but instead I'm going to let it grow. By this time next year I can donate again too. And then she can donate. We've agreed to take alternate years.
So very pleased with herself.
(I'm pleased with her too.)