Big news flash from the our Household: Last week, Mia and I "ponied up" and cut our long locks off together! This all came about when I bought the book Doing Good Together: 101 Easy, Meaningful Service Projects for families, School, and Communities by Jenny Friedman many months ago. I asked Mia to read through it and find projects that interested her. She chose Locks for Love (a hair donation program that makes wigs for cancer patients.) In theory, it sounded like a great thing to do. It was something that I'd always admired that people did, but I was not totally disappointed when she said she wanted to put it off until after school was over. I was also not disappointed when a month before school ended she announced that she planned to wait another year. I hadn't cut my hair short in nearly 20 years. I wasn't quite ready for a drastic change - or so I thought!
As we were driving to the hair salon for a "trim", Mia announced that she was ready to "cut it all off" and was I in? "Could we please do it together?" she asked from the backseat. How could I say no? Now the Boston Coordinator for Doing Good Together™ (the organization), it was my "duty" to make this commitment to family-service real. And I really wanted to do it together and have fun with it. I was relieved that I hadn't been given notice on this big decision because I would have given it far more attention and angst than the decision deserved. Instead, this was far more spontaneous and fun...and it best of all, it was a SECRET! Even Bob (my husband) didn't know. I wondered out loud if I should call him to tell him ahead of time and the girls both shouted "NO!!!! Don't tell him!!!" This was clearly a girl-power thing we were doing. No permission was required - or at least that was what I was told by my wise 8& 9 year old girls.
And just as surprised as I was by the fact that we were doing this, so was my hair stylist Phil. She is a lovely woman from Ireland who had told me about a similar program by Pantene called PonyUp. They took 8" of hair (instead of 10") and the rumor from the hair salon was that they used more of the hair than other programs. Less hair required, more hair used - sold! She laughed when I told her that we were doing the "big show" that day. She pulled out her brand new ruler that she had JUST BOUGHT the day before. Destiny was dancing with us right there in the salon.
Because my hair is so thick, she made two pony tails. She measured carefully and cut quickly. Zoie documented the whole thing. Chop chop and we were done! Mia had to patiently wait for her turn but hers went just as smoothly. And after some styling, we both walked out with a very new look and a great sense of pride and connection - and perhaps, just a little bit more courage. A woman's relationship with her hair is a complex one. I found it refreshing to shake that relationship up. I think I'll be doing this again soon (1/2 inch per month according to Phil...16 months perhaps?) and next time I'll do it with both girls. The tails are in a padded envelope en route to Pantene. We hope they find their way into a few fabulous wigs.