Hats and answered prayers

Feb 22

Hats and answered prayers

One of the prayers  when I was previously bald was that the girls and I would all have ponytails together one day.  It was just a visualize picture of teeny weeny significance in the grand scheme of things, but as my hair grew tiny bit by tiny bit, that ponytail prayer kept coming to mind and I held on to the hope that one day all three of us would have ponytails.  I love being a mom of girls… it is just so in tune with who I am down to my core.  Moreover, I love the essence of the ponytail: sweeping your hair out of your face so that you can go, dance, do, be, adventure, climb, run, chase, dive, flip, jump.  It’s the physical mark that, for me and a lot of girls I know, says: game on.  We are girl, hear us roar.

One day last week as my hair was starting to fall out, I realized that today was a day that all three of us could wear our hair in ponytails, and I wanted a picture of it.  We fixed ponytails for the girls (mine was already ‘tailed, which should surprise no one who knows me in real life), and I had Chief Sister snap a picture when she was over for dinner last week while Brad was traveling.

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As far as I can recall, it’s the only picture we have where all three of us have some kind of ponytail in our hair.  Although, since I’ve been able to pull mine partially back for a few months, there may be more.  No one else has reason to notice the significance of this simple shot.  But, to me it’s an answered prayer.  I asked God for it, I kept my eyes open and hopeful, and I opted to take the picture when I thought of it rather than let the opportunity pass.  This moment was a good example of how I choose joy (that’s a question I get a lot these days): rather than wallowing in the bummer-ness of my actively shedding hair, I realized that if I see myself as I am today, with today’s blessings, I have a lot to be grateful for… even answered long-prayed prayers.  It’s seizing the moment and choosing the joy and creating the memory.  Often our joy is not accidental; we choose it.

A few hours after we shaved my head, Brad commented, “I love that I see your bald head and it doesn’t even phase me at all.  You’re beautiful without hair.”  I love how he looks for the good in me–both inward and outward, and calls it out often.

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A few notes on baldness:

Everyone does a double-take when they notice.  People who know me get used to it, but out-and-about interactions are filled with double-takes.  I can’t articulate strongly enough how much better the double-take is if it is accompanied by a smile from the person.  So. Much. Goodness. in that small kindness for me.

Wigs.  Pray for me about wigs.  They are so artificial and foreign to me and just seem so fake.  My honest reaction when I see people in wigs is “Oh, there’s So-and-so, and there’s her wig.”  The separateness of it sticks out to me, but I realize that I’m just weird about wigs and most people are probably not as weird about them as I am.  So yeah, I’m working on that.  And they are uncomfortable, hot, and itchy.  I think I’d actually enjoy a hilarious fashion-bright-colored wig more than a trying-to-look-like-real-hair wig, but that kind of defeats the purpose.  From a practical standpoint, the main function of the wig is that I imagine it would reduce about eighty percent of the double-takes.  Now that my kids are older I want to feel free to help them cope and limit their self-consciousness if I can–a wig might be a tool in that toolbox.

Both girls like wearing hats, and our hat-wearing as a family has taken an upturn since last Friday’s buzz.  It was  thrill to get home to these fun pom-pom hats as a surprise on our front porch last weekend:

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Hats are necessary, but hard to find great ones.  Hats — most of the time — are meant to be worn with hair, which means a lot of hats don’t fit a bald head properly.  The texture can be itchy or scratchy which is a definite no go.  It is also easy to look like a dweeb.  I gave away most of my hats to bald friends over the past year(s), but I have a few of my old favorites I kept.  I can’t find a jersey (think t-shirt material) one that I prefer for sleeping, so I’ll be checking around for that.  Maren and Greta both put on a hat as I was getting shaved the other day, so I’m also looking for some matching or pseudo-matching hats for us especially in the spring/summer.  When I see them wearing a hat as they read or play, my heart is warmed at their innocent just-like-mama gestures of emulation.  They are such wonderful girls with such big hearts.

When Greta was three she noticed that several people commented on Maren’s red hair (Maren gets a lot of comments), and she said with moxy, “How come Maren has matching hair to you Mama, and I have white hair?”

“Well G, I love your hair; it’s straight and you can style it in ways that Maren and I could never style our hair.  You get your hair from Daddy, and both of you have blue eyes like Daddy.  (My eyes are green.)”

She probably gave me the Greta stink eye because that’s what Greta does, and then we moved on because she was three and our conversations were short and to the point.  As we moved on I prayed that Greta would be happy as she grows up with her non-matching hair, and that she would embrace her distinct beauty.  Within a few months I looked at almost-four-year-old Greta and said with a start, “Holy moly, Greta!  Did you know that your eyes aren’t blue anymore?  Your eyes are green!”

Her eyes widened in surprise and she bolted off to the mirror to examine her eyes.  Maren and I squeezed around the mirror too.  It was Maren who said, “Oh my gosh Greta!  Now you have EYES that match Mommy and I have HAIR that matches Mommy.”

Greta’s eyes widened and her grin bloomed bigger.  She said, “And I have Daddy HAIR, and you have Daddy EYES!”

And, I swear, they both danced and wiggled with glee.

It’s such a superficial, not-important thing, but I love that each girl has a physical mark from Brad and I.  I love that they are so different, and I can’t believe that Greta’s eye color changed so late.  Looking into her green eyes makes me happy in the same way tucking Maren’s hair behind her hair makes me happy.

It’s just neat how I prayed for Greta to appreciate her beauty and God changed her eye color as part of the answer to that prayer.  I pray quiet prayers and whisper wishes and dream dreams, and I feel so loved when they come true.  I am blessed, indeed.

7 comments

  1. You are indeed beautiful with and without hair.
    When my mom went bald, I could finally see — and told her — how she is such an intriguing combination of both of her parents. I wouldn’t have seen it if she had kept her hair. She had a couple of lovely jersey knit hats so I know the kind you are looking for. I wish I could remember where she got them. They were her favorites.
    I love that G has your eye color! My mom’s went from blue to greenish-blue in her 20’s and mine did the same.
    And hooray for your photograph of all 3 of you in pony tails!

  2. Marlayne Skeens /

    Your posting is a Joy ~ Love that you & your girls have ponytails * Your hubby is so correct ~ Jen, you are Beautiful with or w/o hair ~ Love your Wonderful Smiles & hats ~ What a cute story of eyes/hair color ~ You are an inspiration to many ~ Hugs 😊

  3. Wow, Jen, what a beautiful post from a beautiful person. The ponytail pic is adorable. I love when you include pictures – I even tried zooming in to check out the eye colors!

    It is awesome how you help your daughters see their own unique and special attributes. You are such an amazing mom to your lovely little girls.

    One of my prayers each night is that your prayers are answered! Love and hugs!

  4. Lori6NV /

    You are beautiful bald, my friend! Your attitude is such an inspiration. Would a “real hair” wig feel any less fake/strange? Also, I am planning to run my first ever 5K in March, inspired by you! I hope to take a picture at the end with a “do today well” sign. If I forget, I may just send you a regular picture of my sweaty self. Keep smiling! :)

  5. Love going on the journey of your prayers through this post. You are so gifted at finding the markers. I forget what those piles of stacked rocks are called, but I read your post and love to see the world through your eyes. Through eyes that see the many markers of God’s goodness. So many of us simply just keep walking – thanks for reminding us to notice the balance and beauty in them.

  6. Lisa Smith /

    Thank you for sharing these words and pictures. So special. Xo

  7. Stephanie /

    Hi Jen! First, let me say that you are rocking the bald look. A couple of years ago, I was bald for the same reason. I, also, didn’t like wigs and only wore a hat to keep warm. I wore my baldness with pride to the gym, grocery store and out to dinner. I am sure my kids were embarrassed at time but I found it very freeing. I wore these comfy t-shirt like caps (under my hat and to bed) from English Traditions on Etsy. They are actually called sleeping caps. They are very inexpensive, too. I think about you and pray for you and your family. God bless!

    xo,
    Stephanie