She looks so grown up. That was the worst thing. I knew it would be that way. I knew the moment her baby hair was all cut off, that the ties binding us are also being slowly cut, strand by strand, until she gets the courage to one day fly away. We only have this same amount of years we’ve already seen before she’s old enough to choose her own life. The way these 8 1/2 years have flown it seems like an injustice to only have the same number again.
My eyes welled. My camera wobbled. And so did hers. The fact that we welled at the same exact moment made it better somehow. We had done it together: My permission, her courage.
When Kate placed the ponytail of 30cm of hair that has seen so many lovely days in her hands, that was the climax. I just snapped and snapped instead of balling and balling.
My lovely child. A year ago she heard of Angel Hair for Kids from Loren and decided that was what she wanted to do. She is not so special in doing this. Lots of kids in town have done it too. But it was an opportunity to give. And the one thing she loves doing is giving gifts. She understands hurt and hearts, this little one. I really do see her with clear eyes: she is messy and learning to do things well, not just patchy, and she finds it hard to not act on her emotions and close her tongue and let someone else have the last word. She cannot stand an injustice against herself or anyone else. But she also has an ability to see left out ones at the edges of life and draw them in. She tries so very hard to keep everyone happy. She’s the one who makes me berries and yogurts on days my heart is sore. She has the ideas for our next secret service. She whips the other two into action when she sees Tim or I wilting. She has already started creating hand-made Christmas presents for her family. So giving away her hair?
She was built for this stuff.
Tim told her to wait until her hair was long enough. For him, it would never be long enough. He knew what it all meant too, I think. A Daddy holds close the days his baby girl stays his baby girl. It’s hard to look at her now and see a baby.
She was so worried at what her Daddy would say. We did ask him and warn him and encourage him it was for a generous gift, but still, she was worried at his response to this transformation.
He smiled hard. He said “India, you are so beautiful and I will always love you.”
And she knew it was hard and he hated letting go, but that it was OK.
There’s very few things an 8 year old girl can give of herself, all by herself, that truly will make a difference in the life of someone else. This was one of those things. We sat in the car before we went in and she said “Will I ever meet the little girl who gets my hair?”
“Will I ever see the wig they make of my hair?”
In the silence, we held hands and prayed for the little girl my little girl was choosing to bless, for God to heal her and help her and rescue her. And we prayed that one day India would meet her. In heaven. It was a walk of faith, the whole thing. And, like faith in the Great Unseen God, the rewards of the choice India made this week were ours without ever needing to see ‘proof’. Joy spilling over.