September 15, 2011
Image courtesy of flickrhivemind.com
Dear Little One,
Today the girls stepped in the classroom, twirling in fancy dresses. The boys showed off their stiff, spiky, gelled haircuts. It was Picture Day and, Little One, I have to admit I was surprised when you showed up with your thick, black hair cut short. Your hair was so long and gorgeous. Your new haircut frames your face and your deep, brown eyes stand out even more than before.
During Morning News, I commented that your haircut looked great and, Little One, your response stole my heart. You looked at me, with eyes so pure, so earnest, and said, “I gave my hair away.”
I felt my jaw drop as the words sunk in.
“I gave my hair away.”
This baffled the other kids sitting on the rug with you.
“You gave your hair away?”
“Who did you give it to?”
“Why did you give it away?”
“What do you mean you gave your hair away???”
I motioned you to the front of the rug to explain. With a grin that stretched across your entire face you told how your mom braided your hair after school yesterday and then a hairdresser cut it off. You gave your thick, shiny braid to the hairdresser.
As you spoke, the class stared at you, 25 sets of eyebrows wrinkled in confusion. You continued, explaining that your braid of hair would now be made into a wig for a sick child who didn’t have any hair.
I hugged you tight and told you that you’d given a beautiful gift. One of your friends summed it up even better when she said, “I think that was the best gift you ever could give.”
She’s right, Little One. I know you loved your long hair, but you love helping others even more. That is your gift to the world. You give, even when giving requires sacrifice.
Every time I see your pixie cut, I’ll remember the day you gave away your beautiful braid. I’ll remember the day you taught me what it means to really give.