They are ALWAYS watching. They are trying to make sense of the situation. I am trying to make sense of the situation. What I forgot to think about is that we are ALL on this journey together. . . the journey of hair loss and coping with the loss.
I am talking about my family. I am talking about my two daughters, Karsen (7) and Maddox (3). Each of the girls have been a part of my journey since my hair started to fall out. However, their perspectives are polar opposites.
Karsen still remembers when I had hair, she was actually around Maddox’s age when my hair started to fall out due to Alopecia Areata. She saw my daily struggles even though I tried to hide them. I felt as though I was just going through the motions. I know I wasn’t being the mother she needed, but I was trying.
She understands as much as a 7 year old can, but she is also (hopefully) seeing that if her mom is strong enough to fight anything she is strong enough to fight ANYTHING. Questions really haven’t been asked about it. . . is that because my husband and I have done a good job being as open about it throughout the past three years OR has she been too afraid to ask any questions?
God, I really hope I haven’t put her in a position to be afraid to EVER ask any questions about ANYTHING.
When I walked around at Great Wolf Lodge in March bald for the very first time Karsen saw me and asked “where is your hat?” “Go put your hat on!”
I wanted to cry on the spot.
I was embarrassing my daughter. I wanted to run back to grab my hat as quickly as possible, but I didn’t move. I stood there as strong as possible and told her I wasn’t going to wear it. She said, “okay” then ran off to go on more slides.
I knew I was doing the right thing. For her. For me.
I asked Karsen later in the day if it was okay that I wasn’t wearing a hat earlier and she told me that it was fine. I forgot to think about her journey and how she handles me looking different than other moms. She had never seen me bald in public and it will take some time to get accustomed to it IF I ever go out in public bald again.
I think that I am so much harder on myself because I am not only worried about myself, but I am always SO concerned IF this is having a detrimental effect on my girls.
Maddox on the other hand does not understand it AT ALL!
She continually asks me “Mommy, where is your hair?” Her perception of the journey is completely different from all the rest of us and it is actually refreshing.
My hair began to fall out when she was only 4 months old so she truly does not remember her mom with any hair that actually comes out of my scalp. What she sees is her mom with hair sometimes OR just wearing a hat OR bald. Maddox just thinks that is the norm for some people.
And guess what?! THAT IS OKAY!
We need people in our lives to keep us grounded and our minds open to all the beauty in this world.
Last month, Maddox told us that she just can’t wait to be an adult so she can take her hair off, too!
Ahhh, the thoughts that go through a 3 year old’s mind. To be that naive again and see beauty in EVERYONE and EVERYTHING you encounter is so refreshing and inspiring.
Now, Maddox has NO problem telling me that I am so squishy and ask me why do I have two stomachs?!
She will tell you EXACTLY how she sees it without a worry in the world.
Like all journeys, we are NEVER alone. Remember that. There are others along for the ride who are possibly affected by the same thing, watching, trying to better understand it, and/or supporting YOU throughout the journey.
Too often we feel as though we handle it and do it ourselves. We don’t need to rely on others to for help.
I am guilty of this in SO many ways.
What I am learning and trying to accept in my life is help. That in order to move forward, to dream big, to become the best version of ourselves it can ONLY be done by the help of others.