Friday, January 6, 2012

A Big Day

Paige on Christmas morning
My daughter Paige has long, golden-blonde hair.  Shiny, thick, fast-growing, and tangle resistant, she gets frequent compliments on how beautiful it is.  A few months ago when my friend paid Paige a compliment about her hair, she flipped it over her shoulder and confidently declared, "I know.  Dunna never tut it."  Her hair has become one of the things that defines who Paige is.  I truly thought she'd be one of those little girls who just always had long hair.

Krista and her family
But something changed when my friend Krista lost her battle with cancer two months ago.  Our entire family was impacted by her death.  Concern for Krista's little girls and her husband has laced bedtime prayers.  Multiple questions about cancer, treatment, and death have been addressed.  Somewhere in the middle of all this, I mentioned Locks of Love to Paige. A non--profit organization, Locks of Love makes wigs for children suffering from cancer and other diseases that cause hair loss.  Donations start at a minimum of ten inches of hair.

Paige's hair was flirting with the waist of her jeans, but she's only five years old.  Ten inches on a five-year-old body is pretty much her entire back.  To cut it would be a huge sacrifice.  Her initial response was no way.  I think she even repeated, "Dunna never tut it."
that's some long hair

But over time Paige's heart changed.  What better way to share than to give your most valued possession?  Paige told me a few weeks ago that she wanted to cut her hair - at least ten inches - and give it to Locks of Love.  "I know it will make some little girl really happy," she said.

I made the appointment two weeks ago.  It gave me time to silently grieve the loss of her beautiful hair and Paige time to make sure she really wanted to go through with it.  Yesterday she told several people, "Today is my last day with long hair.  I'm donating it tomorrow to give to a child with cancer who needs a wig."  This morning at breakfast she said, "I have three big things today: library, donating my hair, and a play date with Paige O."  Her enthusiasm enabled me to join in her excitement.

Paige got off the kindergarten bus and we headed out to see Miss Gabby at Down to Details.  She pranced into the salon so excited that she could barely stand still.  I took a video of her before she got it cut.  Her voice is barely audible, but she makes it known just exactly why she's cutting her hair.  Gabby measured out Paige's hair and put a ponytail holder at the ten inch mark.  I took a video as Gabby chopped and chopped and chopped with her sharp scissors to get through the mass of thick hair.  I thought I might cry when Paigey turned around, short hair all choppy, and held up the ponytail of what used to be her long hair with a huge smile on her face.
What a sweet girl

Gabby shaped what was left of Paigey's hair into the most adorable A-line bob.  We left the salon and walked down the street to the post office where Paige helped me carefully package up her hair and ship it off to Locks of Love.  The library was on the next block so we walked there and Paige picked out five books.  We ended our afternoon of fun at Jem 100 - a 1960's ice cream shop.  Paige chose a cotton candy ice cream cone to celebrate her generosity.
finished product - pretty cute!

We sat in the red plastic booths and chatted.  Paige did another video interview for me (this one you can hear her a little better) and flipped her new hair around proudly.  She beamed at me across the table and said, "This has been a big day for me.  I shared my hair, I got to go to the library, and I got ice cream as a special treat!"
so proud of you Paigey!

I couldn't help but agree.  It was a big day.  I'm so proud of you Paigey!

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