Amazing Grace

23 01 2005

This afternoon a persistent little pang told me I was hungry. Heart hungry. I knew just what would satisfy it, too. I called Grace.

We talked for a while about various subjects. Then, after a momentary silence, she said, “I need to tell you something.”

* * *

Time for some backstory. (I’ve been doing that a lot lately, haven’t I?) Grace, our only daughter, was born gorgeous. Sure, I’m prejudiced. But facts are facts. I was smitten from the moment the nurses laid her in my arms. She had pink rosebud lips, the cutest dollop of a nose, huge blue eyes, and a head full of tawny curls. From birth she was pure femininity in looks, if not in behavior. (I blame George for her fondness for dirt and bugs, but that’s another story.)

Rapunzel must’ve been lurking somewhere back there on the family tree. By two, Grace’s golden locks had grown past her shoulders, and by four she had thick, waist-length hair. I’d trim the ends, but all her life, a crown of unbelievably thick, wavy hair personified her. It was practically her trademark.

* * *

“Okay. What is it?” I asked.

“I shaved my head.” (Yes, Luke. Of course I thought of you. So, this runs in the family. Maybe Yule Brenner was on the tree, too.)

Silence. “You shaved it? As in bald?”

“Well, I didn’t do it. My roommates did. They cut it with electric clippers set on #4. You can’t see my scalp or anything. But, yeah. I shaved it. I gave all the hair to Locks of Love.”

Her cut hair made four thick braids: two fourteen inches long, and two sixteen inches long. I knew she’d been thinking about doing this for more than a year. She said she can’t believe how much she’s learning — about how she relied on her looks for security, how uncomfortable it is to notice strangers staring at you in public like you’re abnormal, how supportive people have been. It wasn’t an impulsive decision. She talked to trusted friends and searched her motives. Was she doing this to make a sensation? Was it a selfish attempt to appear unselfish? After weighing it all, she decided that now, if ever, was the time. Once she’s out of college and working, the opportunity might be gone.

She’s going to e-mail some pictures. Apparently the general consensus from both males and females is that she looks adorable and that she can totally pull this off. Girl friends gush. One guy friend saw her, gasped, grabbed her and kissed her on the head. She’s been shocked at the sincere compliments. I don’t suppose I’m too surprised. She still has the rosebud lips, the dollop of a nose that turns up ever so slightly as though a benevolent fairy touched the very tip with her magic wand, and the big, summer-sky-blue eyes.

Some kids go off to college and rebel. Others go off and grow up. I guess the important thing is remembering that growing up doesn’t always look the same on everyone. For Grace, for a season, it looks like a cropped head crowned only with a deeper understanding of compassion.

How do I feel? My heart is satisfied.


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30 responses

23 01 2005
lbsteffy

Indeed it looks amazing. Grace can pull off an abundant amount of things that not many others can. She’s a true inspiration…

23 01 2005
lbsteffy

Indeed it looks amazing. Grace can pull off an abundant amount of things that not many others can. She’s a true inspiration…

23 01 2005
Anonymous

Wow

Wow! Can’t wait to see pictures. I must admit I kept expecting as I read that at any moment you would say NOT!

It is so interesting that you should post about this today. I buzzed 2 of my boys this afternoon with a #4. (An additional aside, I have a friend going in for a breast biopsy next week.) And as I was putting away my barber shop supplies I was thinking how freeing it would be to have the courage to shave your head (and for me it would not be a great sacrifice in that my hair is nothing to rave about).

Tell Grace, way to GO!!! Just think some sick child will be radiant with a golden crown of glory. I really admire her.

Megan

23 01 2005
Anonymous

Wow

Wow! Can’t wait to see pictures. I must admit I kept expecting as I read that at any moment you would say NOT!

It is so interesting that you should post about this today. I buzzed 2 of my boys this afternoon with a #4. (An additional aside, I have a friend going in for a breast biopsy next week.) And as I was putting away my barber shop supplies I was thinking how freeing it would be to have the courage to shave your head (and for me it would not be a great sacrifice in that my hair is nothing to rave about).

Tell Grace, way to GO!!! Just think some sick child will be radiant with a golden crown of glory. I really admire her.

Megan

23 01 2005
Anonymous

re: Amazing Grace

I hope that if I ever grow up, that I will somehow turn out to be more like your Grace. Sounds like a remarkable girl. And you may have to buy her a bigger stick for her birthday – despite what Hollywood would have you believe, the guys will go nuts for her confidence and character.

FYI: I called Locks of Love. And believe it or not, they’re not intersted in back hair.

23 01 2005
Anonymous

re: Amazing Grace

I hope that if I ever grow up, that I will somehow turn out to be more like your Grace. Sounds like a remarkable girl. And you may have to buy her a bigger stick for her birthday – despite what Hollywood would have you believe, the guys will go nuts for her confidence and character.

FYI: I called Locks of Love. And believe it or not, they’re not intersted in back hair.

23 01 2005
Anonymous

Re: Amazing Grace

Nuts! Keep forgetting that I’m anonymous here.

Mike (back hair fully intact)

23 01 2005
Anonymous

Re: Amazing Grace

Nuts! Keep forgetting that I’m anonymous here.

Mike (back hair fully intact)

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Steffy. I’m glad you think so.

Love,
EZ

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Steffy. I’m glad you think so.

Love,
EZ

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Wow

Truth be known, she doesn’t want people to think her motives were all philanthropic. She loves the idea of sharing her hair, but she also just wanted to shave it and observe the difference it made in her self-image, the way people treat her, etc. It was a purposeful, experimental step outside the comfort zone.

I will share your words with her, though. I admire her, too. My kids are more adventuresome than I was at their age. In a good way.

She hasn’t sent the pictures yet. I’m quite curious!

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Wow

Truth be known, she doesn’t want people to think her motives were all philanthropic. She loves the idea of sharing her hair, but she also just wanted to shave it and observe the difference it made in her self-image, the way people treat her, etc. It was a purposeful, experimental step outside the comfort zone.

I will share your words with her, though. I admire her, too. My kids are more adventuresome than I was at their age. In a good way.

She hasn’t sent the pictures yet. I’m quite curious!

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Amazing Grace

Thanks, Mike. You may be right about the bigger stick. Guys weren’t exactly shunning her before, and no one seems repulsed by the new ‘do.

BTW, I thought it was you. The back hair gave you away. (Not that I’ve seen it — but I don’t know many people who would call Locks of Love and offer.)

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Amazing Grace

Thanks, Mike. You may be right about the bigger stick. Guys weren’t exactly shunning her before, and no one seems repulsed by the new ‘do.

BTW, I thought it was you. The back hair gave you away. (Not that I’ve seen it — but I don’t know many people who would call Locks of Love and offer.)

24 01 2005
gaia43

I love your family more and more with each story I hear!!

Go Grace!

24 01 2005
gaia43

I love your family more and more with each story I hear!!

Go Grace!

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

We must be twins. I love them more and more with each story that unfolds.

Thanks, Crystal. You’re sweet. :o)

24 01 2005
jeannedamoff

We must be twins. I love them more and more with each story that unfolds.

Thanks, Crystal. You’re sweet. :o)

24 01 2005
milesprowl

Chicks with shaved heads are f***ing cool. I want a pic!

24 01 2005
milesprowl

Chicks with shaved heads are f***ing cool. I want a pic!

25 01 2005
ilitherian

grace looks totally hot with her hair cut (she sent me pictures some time ago)

love,
luke

25 01 2005
ilitherian

grace looks totally hot with her hair cut (she sent me pictures some time ago)

love,
luke

25 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Yeah. She told me she clued you in right after she did it. She was trying to think of a creative way to break the news to us, but as we talked Sunday she decided to just tell me.

It’s funny that you and Grace will be growing your hair out together. Cuties!

I still haven’t received my pictures. grrr. Why don’t you send them to me? Good idea! Okay, thanks, bye.

25 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Yeah. She told me she clued you in right after she did it. She was trying to think of a creative way to break the news to us, but as we talked Sunday she decided to just tell me.

It’s funny that you and Grace will be growing your hair out together. Cuties!

I still haven’t received my pictures. grrr. Why don’t you send them to me? Good idea! Okay, thanks, bye.

25 01 2005
jeannedamoff

I still don’t know how to post pictures on LJ. Sad, I know. But even if I could, so far she hasn’t sent me any.

Maybe Luke can post one in his journal. I’ll ask him.

25 01 2005
jeannedamoff

I still don’t know how to post pictures on LJ. Sad, I know. But even if I could, so far she hasn’t sent me any.

Maybe Luke can post one in his journal. I’ll ask him.

26 01 2005
jetpacknomad

That’s really weird.

That was my initial reaction. I mean, after all… QED

But I’m past that now. My current opinion is that you’ve got a very special daughter. Which unfortunately is not to say that I’d be able to keep from staring in morbid fascination like an idiot. I hope she learns something valuable from this.

26 01 2005
jetpacknomad

That’s really weird.

That was my initial reaction. I mean, after all… QED

But I’m past that now. My current opinion is that you’ve got a very special daughter. Which unfortunately is not to say that I’d be able to keep from staring in morbid fascination like an idiot. I hope she learns something valuable from this.

28 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: That’s really weird.

It is a bit weird, but I also agree I have a very special daughter. Thanks for thinking so.

She finally sent pictures and, I can honestly say she looks cute. Her hair is so thick, she doesn’t look bald or sickly at all. She has a fun little cowlick right in front, so the buzzed hair sort of sticks out there.

I believe she is learning valuable lessons. And having fun. There’s no escaping the fact that we’re all nerds around here. Weirdness abounds.

28 01 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: That’s really weird.

It is a bit weird, but I also agree I have a very special daughter. Thanks for thinking so.

She finally sent pictures and, I can honestly say she looks cute. Her hair is so thick, she doesn’t look bald or sickly at all. She has a fun little cowlick right in front, so the buzzed hair sort of sticks out there.

I believe she is learning valuable lessons. And having fun. There’s no escaping the fact that we’re all nerds around here. Weirdness abounds.

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