Monday, January 16, 2012

To shave or not to shave....

My school has gathered a team to support the St Baldrick's Foundation. Several teachers and students shaved their heads last year and are planning on doing so again this year.

Last year I debated and debated about joining in with the shaving team and after some thought decided that shaving my head might actually not be the best idea with my just over 2 year still bonding with me. We had barely been together a year and I was kind of afraid of scaring him or of him not recognizing me! (that and his therapist advised that it might not be good idea!)

Now this year the time has rolled around again to decide about joining the shaving team or just monetarily sponsoring the team. I still have a question about how little man would react to me shaving my head...anyone have any ideas/suggestions about how my 3 year old my react to his mother having long hair one moment and a shaved head the next? I would take him with me so he could watch the shaving and see me as it happened, but still not sure he is old enough to make the connection, if that makes any sense.

Okay so in being completely honest there is another part to the debate. I have always considered myself pretty low maintenance. I don't wear makeup and until recently hardly ever even got up and put jewelry on in the mornings. (thanks Tarsha!) I have had long hair and short hair and usually am a wash and go kind of girl no matter the length, with short hair I do a little more with it than I do with long hair. So maybe it is a touch of vanity, maybe it is the "societal norms" I am not sure which, but I am struggling with the being shaved and people's reactions to it. Men can do it without much notice, women get noticed with shaved heads. I know it leads to a great conversation starter about kids cancer research, what is considered beautiful,.... all sort of things. And let's be honest I am a single white mom with a Ethiopian son, I am not usually afraid of looking different in a crowd! I also know that my temporary uncomfortableness in being bald is nothing compared to what a cancer patient of any age, but particularly a child goes through.

So I am looking for some advice..Should I shave my head or will it freak my 3 year old out? And also if I do shave any great suggestions for head "gear" while my hair grows back!

Oh and if I do decide to shave my head...I will be fundraising for the cause!

Thanks in advance for the help and support!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gone too soon...

I have spent the last few days trying to find the right words to express all the thoughts and emotions. And tonight as I stood in the funeral home with a co-worker and looked at the tear-stained faces of past students I realized that there are no right words when a young person dies. As my co-worker said, "The hardest part of teaching...attending the funeral of a former student."
Tonight I hugged those past students and whisper any words of encouragement I could, while dozens of questions still ran through my own mind about the senseless death of a 17 year old girl. Tonight I encouraged a young man, who has just lost his older sister, to cry when he needed to and laugh if he felt like it and even be angry because all of those emotions are correct, especially for a 15 year old. I hugged a mother, that I didn't know, and I (who spend my day talking to kids) had no words for her. I looked in the face of a father who was tired and hurt and simply could shake his hand.
I came home and hugged my little man a bit tighter and laid next to him as he held my hand to fall asleep. I whisper a prayer thanking God for the gift of my son and asking Him to make sure that my time here on Earth would not be longer than my sons'. I asked for comfort to be on the families involved in this accident and the people who are hurting from loss.
Two young lives have been forever changed by a simple decision.

RIP Liz.