One of our friend's amazing daughter recently decided to shave her head and donate all her hair for kids with cancer. I was in awe of her courage and felt a rush of admiration for her strong character at such young age. Olivia happened to hear me talk about it with Iggy and asked to see the pictures; she said "wow, she's brave" but I didn't think she really understood the meaning behind such selfless act.
A while later she brought up the subject again and we started talking about childhood cancer and all the struggles sick kids go through; Gaby joined her and they both seemed genuinely moved by the conversation, it warmed my heart to see how caring these girls are and how compassionate they can be...
But to much of my surprise their compassion didn't end there and I was shocked when they came back to my room and said "we both want to shave our heads and donate all our hair"... I won't lie, I immediately said "you guys are NUTS!"... I also added "there's no way in hell I will EVER let you do that"... they looked at me and said "but mom... it's JUST hair".. and I said something like "Yes.. and it's your beautiful hair that I won't let you cut"... I immediately noticed the disappointment on their faces as they struggled to understand why letting them cut their hair was such a big deal to me...
Gaby said "I will still be the same person, with short or long hair"...and Olivia said "What is so wrong with wanting to give my hair to a sick child?... my hair will grow back but theirs might never grow!"
I was so choked up about the whole situation and completely torn between my admiration for them even considering such selfless act and my selfish need to make them keep their long and beautiful hair intact.
Their arguments turned my resounding "NO!" into a "Maybe... let's talk about it tomorrow". I secretly hoped they would "come to their senses" and change their minds so I asked them to sleep on it and take it from there. I don't know why the idea of shaving their heads bothered me so much...but it did!
The new day went on without a hitch but when I picked them up from school they brought up the issue again and begged me to take them to a hair salon to shave their heads. I will be honest and say that I mentioned a million things to scare them out of chopping off their hair including being bullied at school, not being able to style their hair, looking "boyish" during upcoming "girly" events, regretting their decision, their hair taking forever to grow back, etc. I basically used every phrase in the book and then some to try to talk them out of this "craziness". The last card I could play was to actually take them to the hair salon so they could feel the "finality" of their decision and back out but instead of being scared they were excited... I knew then I had lost the battle and I had no choice but to go on with their wishes and respect their decision.
I cried (literally!) as their heads were being shaved and they keep telling me "mom, it's JUST hair.. it will grow back... plus, we're doing this for a good cause!". My tears of sadness quickly turned into tears of pride and joy as I said to myself "how could I possibly be sad when I am witnessing one of the most selfless and genuine acts of kindness coming from my children?". It dawned on me that instead of discourage them, I should celebrate them and I should love them more for putting their vanity aside and making a decision that is far beyond their years.
So I say to my kids, it's not "JUST" hair!, it's so much more than that... it's love, it's compassion, it's care, it's courage, it's humility and it's one of the most beautiful lessons I have learned from my you. I want them to know that I am incredibly proud of them for giving the phrase "it's just hair" a whole new meaning for me. I love you both more than you will ever know and although I think your physical beauty is great, your spiritual beauty is what will always remain!
Here's a couple of pictures:
Hair has been donated to "Wigs 4 Kids". Olivia donated over 12 inches of hair and Gaby over 10 inches. All hair was healthy, untreated and clean and we hope it can be used to make a wig for a kid in need.
"Wigs 4 Kids" requires a minimum hair donation of 10 inches, however they do accept 7"-9" donation to make boy wigs or shorter wigs for girls. If interested in donating hair, please visit their hair donation tab for more information.
Thanks for all the words of encouragement and support! We can only hope that God continues to show us the way to raise loving and caring kids! Thank you, Daniela, for inspiring our girls to engage in such amazing act! You are a true hero!