364/366: first haircut, part two
This was an infinitely better first haircut experience than last time.
But, soon, the firetruck chair, pink electric buzzer, and mention of a post-haircut lollipop all combined to make for a pretty fun time.
For at least the first year after she was diagnosed, there was always this background noise in my head that constantly asked, “What have they done to my child?” The chemo, the hospitalizations, the steroids, the discomfort. She was a fat, bald, uncoordinated, limping, grouchy mess for such a long time and it felt like, in the process of saving her life, they were leaving her broken. I wondered what all this treatment would do to her long-term psyche and how would she process all the bad stuff she had endured.
I know we’re not done yet, but it feels like we’ve come out on the other side. As we drove away from the hair salon, J and I were talking about how proud we are of her (this is something we talk about a lot lately) and the way that she approaches life. She waltzed into the hair salon, briefly felt apprehensive about the new experience, resigned herself to the situation, and spent the rest of the time being goofy and charming. I don’t wonder anymore about what treatment has stolen from her childhood. She’s cautious but brave and confident and while I think some of that is innate, I also think that going through treatment has given her a little extra body armor.
I have a tendency to over share with the whole cancer thing (blog much?) but it’s hard to avoid talking about something like that and pretend it never happened – that it’s not still happening. I realized today, though, that as she moves forward through life, she’s probably not going to even mention the fact that she had cancer. Maybe it will be a fun novelty for parties? Taking a sip of her beer, “Yeah, I had cancer when I was a kid . . .” and the other college kids will look at her and say, “Shit! That’s crazy!”
I wanted to tell the lady who cut her hair today the whole backstory and explain why this hair cut was extra special; I felt compelled. Neither J nor I mentioned anything though except for a vague mention that we had cut her hair before at home once. So, instead, she was just a healthy little girl getting her first big girl hair cut - which is how she saw the whole thing anyway.