A few days later, I got mail from St. Jude. Ellie saw the picture of the little kid on the pledge coupon and asked about his bald head. I explained to her that sometimes, kids get sick and they lose their hair. I also told her that some kids get wigs made out of long hair that was cut and donated. Immediately, she said that she wanted to donate her hair "to a child who doesn't have hair". (Yes, she uses the word "child".)
I measured her hair, she was a couple of inches short of the ten inch donation minimum to Locks of Love. She said she would wait to cut it until it is long enough to donate. Every few weeks, I'd measure her hair and she'd say in an excited voice: "Am I ready yet?" Not yet....
I told her that she could donate her hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths immediately, but it won't be specifically for kids; an adult might get her hair. Pantene's length minimum is eight inches. Ellie told me that she wants a child to have her hair, so we waited.
Saturday, June 2, 2012, her hair was finally long enough. It was D-Day--Donation Day! She had waited five long months for her hair to be 10 inches longer than
my our her desired length. I reminded her (for about the millionth time) that once her hair was cut, she couldn't put it back on. "Are you sure you want short hair?" Every time, the answer was "Yes, Mommy. And I want a child to have my long hair."
|It's finally time!|
I took her to Cookie Cutters, a hair place for kids. They mail the hair to Locks of Love for you! Ellie's hair was sectioned into three ponytails so Locks of Love got the full 10 inches from the front of her hair as well as the back. Ellie was so excited, she could barely sit still!
|The fire truck is her preferred seat.|
|I won't lie, I was kind of freaking out....|
|EEK! She did it!|
|But look how cute it turned out!|
Ellie is just thrilled with her new do. Randy and I are so proud of her selfless gift and she thinks it's no big thing. Yes, ultimately, she got what she wanted: short hair, but she waited five months to get it to make sure another child could have her hair. That's just the kind of person Ellie is. Yes, she's also a 5 year old: she takes toys from her sister, she argues with her friends and she pushes her poor mother's buttons, but she's caring and empathetic and kind. These are no reflection of our parenting. I don't think these are learned characteristics. This is just who Ellie is.
My friends are a little surprised that I didn't cry when Ellie's hair was cut off (not without reason: I do cry about everything!), but no. I didn't cry. Ellie loves her new hair so much and she is so thrilled that someone else can use her old hair, how could I possibly be sad? It can't really be considered a loss when someone else will gain so much, right?
Ellie does look older now than she did with her long hair, and that's a little tough for me, but she is her own person. She's starting to assert her independence where clothing choice is involved (fear not: I draw the line at the thigh-high boots, mini skirts and belly shirts) and has been voicing her opinions about how I style her hair for quite some time now, I suppose it's the natural progression that she wants to experiment with her hair.
As I tucked her into bed Saturday night, she told me that she hopes she gets to be friends with the little kid who gets her hair. I couldn't be prouder of my sweet, sweet baby girl.
Have you ever donated your hair? I haven't yet, but I plan to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths next time I get my hair cut.