So...if you happen to be one of the few people who have read this blog for several years, you might know that I used to "dream of cornrows." I used to dream of the day when my Ghanaian daughter would be added to the family, and all my practice doing African hair would pay off.
And then we adopted the cutest, spiciest, baldest 2-year old in Ghana!
No problem, I thought. It will grow. Except it didn't. At least not very fast. We don't know exactly why K's hair doesn't grow long and thick. Maybe the severe malnutrition did permanent damage. Maybe the HIV did something weird. But in 6 years she worked up to 3-4 inches of thin and brittle hair. And we were THANKFUL for it. WERE.
I put in yarn braids at the beginning of May. And last week it was time to take them out. I cut them off short on evening (to the point where her hair was braided in) but didn't have time to take the rest of the braids out. The next day I had a lunch date so I asked Taevy and Samren to take out the last 2-4 inches of braid. It was maybe a 30 minute job.
When I got home Kendi was taking a nap. The kids told me they took them out. Great!
Kendi sleeps until after I'm home with Eric at 5:45. WHAT is going on? HOLY COW! Her hair is chopped off in the front of her head back to the crown! That's when I was told that Samren started before Taevy did, and he figured he's quicken the process by simply cutting the braids out at the root. He didn't put it together that he was CUTTING HER HAIR OUT TO THE ROOT!
I had a freak out moment. Had to step outside and cry for a few minutes. I mourn for Kendi's hair. She *SO* wants long hair. It had taken her so long to get those few inches she had. And "What will people think of me? They'll think I'm lazy and cut her hair off because I don't want to mess with it?" Yeah, petty, I know. But that's honestly where I was.
I stepped inside and shaved off my daughter's hair to 1/2 an inch. And actually, she doesn't even have 1/2 an inch in the front. I just couldn't bare to go shorter than that all over. In a few places she is cut totally bald but there's nothing I can do about that but wait for it to grow back.
Of course, she wears it fine. We did headbands and bows for years before, and we can do it for years to come. I told Eric I might want to invest in a few new hats. [Any excuse to shop for cute new accessories, right?] ;-)
I sent my mom the pics of her with her hair all cut off. She responded, "Ah! Not so bad--especially when she smiles! The world is at her feet when she smiles!"
And that's the truth of it. This child, she has all that matters.