Nearly four weeks ago, Liv got her first haircut — It’s just hair. It’ll grow back. — I know… I know! But I’m an emotional, pregnant mama, so let me process for a sec, k?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about “Crazy Hair Day” at school. Jared had brushed Liv’s beautiful mess of waves and curls into seven long ponytails. He was ridiculously overdue for a haircut, too, so got in on the fun with his crazy mop and half-trimmed beard for school drop-off (where none of the other parents thought twice about how goofy he looked… because duh, he’s Jared), then he headed to Sports Clips.
With his fresh haircut, Jared and I picked up Liv from school, and went straight to Pigtails & Crewcuts for her first. haircut. ever. At this point, we all were ready for the change, as her hair was getting increasingly more difficult to manage. I mean, look at all this hair!
The salon was adorable and Liv was so excited to hop up in an airplane chair.
We all adored Liv’s stylist, Monique, and Jared and I chatted and laughed with her, while Liv sat as still as a statue, watching Finding Dory, in between smiley glances at herself in the mirror. With a few quick snips, Liv’s long hair was gone.
My eyes welled up with tears immediately, but Jared and Liv were all smiles and excitement. Liv looked at herself in the mirror and said: “I look like a new me!”
With a pile of Liv’s long ponytails on the counter, Monique finished up the haircut, and Jared and I watched our baby disappear right before our eyes.
With a braid and a (pink!) ribbon, Liv ran to the salon’s playroom to color. Haircut done! Time to play!
We left the salon all smiles, but I was a puddle of emotion, carrying the bag full of Liv’s baby hair.
After a quick lunch at home, we headed to my salon for haircut #3 of the day. Liv held my hand and said: “Be brave, mom,” as Ashley sectioned off and clipped my long hair.
And just like that, I was a “new me,” too.
Back home, we packaged up our ponytails to send to Children With Hair Loss. Liv has been nothing but excited and proud to donate her hair for the first time. And while I’ve donated my hair many times before, this time meant so much more, as I wrote: “In honor of Jessica“ on the donation form.
It was December, three years ago, when Liv got to meet my niece, Jessica, for the first time. It was a magical, heartwarming visit…
But less than a month later, on January 2nd, 2014, Jessica took her final breaths — finally at peace after a 12 year battle with cancer. She was only 19 years old.
Jessica’s legacy and light continue to shine bright in my life, but the thing about grief is that it never ends, you just learn to live with it.
While my head knows a simple little haircut is nothing to be sad about, my heart breaks over the bittersweet reminder of how fragile life is… I will never wish to stop time or keep Liv young forever, because it’s a precious gift to watch her grow.
And so our hair donations are on their way to another precious child, with Jessica’s endless hope for healing and peace. And with love and gratitude for our sweet angel, who “lives in our hearts,” as Liv has learned to say.