Thursday, September 22, 2011


Hats, Hats and more Hats.  We have a lots and lots of hats.  Sophia wears a hat every day.  She has for the last 10 months.  It has been a fun process going through them to try them all on.  But those hats have taken on a different meaning for all of us since her final scans were clear.

When Sophia first started losing her hair, I encouraged her to wear a hat as I would afraid with no hair to keep the heat in her head, she would get chilled.  Being cold is never a good idea for a cancer patient.  Quickly - these precious crocheted ones became her favorite, specifically the pink ones:

They are so cute and she always gets so many comments on them.  She usually wears them with big flowers, even recently branching out into headbands or even two flowers on one side (to look like she is in a wedding, she says.)  The only time she seems to be comfortable not wearing a hat is around family, good friends or when she is swimming.  I'm proud of her for that.

However, I am ready to be done with the hats.  I'd like to take them all outside and burn them.  And the last two weeks, because Sophia now has so much hair (nice little blond crewcut going on; so much hair we actually have to use shampoo now), I want her to go without a hat.

Why?  Because to me, the hat is a symbol of her cancer.  It reminds me, often painfully, of what we have been through.  Sure, she looks cute, but I want the world to see that she HAS HAIR NOW.  Her hair, to me, is a symbol of her triumph; of her successfully completing treatment and being cancer-free.  I think it is time to cut the cord to the hat, so to speak.

Well, as usual, Sophia and I are not in agreement on this.  Sophia is not ready to let go of her hat.  I could chalk it up to a security blanket issue but that wouldn't be giving her a lot of credit.  That would be reducing her reasoning to silly childishness.

And if there is one thing you need to know about Sophia - she is not silly.  She has always thought very deeply about things.  One of the reasons we argue so much is because she NEEDS to KNOW why.  I think she came out asking questions and hasn't stopped since.  She is a thoughtful, sensitive girl and her journey these last 11 months has only intensified that.

Don't get me wrong, she is still a 5 year old.  But her perspective on that hat is not just about security.  She wears a hat because it makes her feel confident in front of her friends.  More than any stuffed animal or blanket, her hats have been with her throughout.  We got most of them before she lost her hair, so they have been silent witnesses to her struggles over her entire treatment.  They are the milestones in the Jordan for her.

So maybe I'm the one being childish in my wanting her to be done with her hats.  Maybe my perspective is backwards.  Maybe The Lord is teaching me that it isn't always about getting it over with, but savoring what you learned while you were in the fire.  We shouldn't forget where we came from.

I know for sure that He is teaching me how to love my daughter just as she is - how to let her be who He has created her to be; not the person I think she should be.  That's a tough lesson for any mother.  My daughter has her own path, one marked by The Spirit of God, and those hats are part of His mark.  All I can do is thank Him for that and try my best to follow His lead on where He is taking her.

And to stop pushing her to take her hat off too soon.  It's her choice and her reasoning and it will be for her best when God puts it in her mind to show the world what we have been celebrating in private for a few months now.  

I don't need to put my shoulder to the door to get it to open - God will do that in His best timing.

This is a lesson in waiting that I must learn in all aspects of my life right now - not just with the hats.  I want to get on with things, I want progress, I want to move on with life and not have the specter of cancer and treatment hanging over us.  I've pulled up my bootstraps, so let's get going!  

But that is not where God wants me.  He wants me to relish this downtime, rather that speed past it.  It's a time of recovery, restoration, preparation - not to be taken lightly.  So, I ask if you would pray this for me:  I'm having a hard time with waiting, so ask Him to make it easier.  Pray I will enjoy the glory of His redemption of our minds, bodies and spirits - and let go of my own burden to move on to the next challenge.  

Pray I can see the hats as a symbol of His promise for better things and not the ugliness of the past.  And pray I will one day be able to help others do that very thing too.

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