Friday, November 4, 2011

Unexpected Moments

The Lord has a wicked sense of humor.

Last night, as Sophia and I were getting some things at our local grocery store after her dance class, the lady checking us out said "Oh, my goodness!  That is the cutest haircut!"

Lately, Sophia has been wearing her hat only to school and dance (and she promptly takes it off in the car after both), and I've talked about how big a deal her hat is.  So this was an unexpected and nice surprise.  Sophia and I looked at each other and smiled but we didn't tell.  The lady then asked me if Sophia had liked that we cut her hair that short.  I said, "Well, she likes it a little longer."  We both thought that was really cool, but Sophia hates attention like that, so I couldn't tell HOW much she took that unexpected, but welcome, comment to heart.  Until this morning.

As usual, we were getting ready for school and like every Mom in town, I was pushing to get in the car.  In helping Sophia put on her sweater, I asked, like I always do "Are you wearing a hat today?"  I was fully expecting to follow up with my usual, "Ok, then you better go get it."  Then I got another unexpected moment when she said, "No."

She said it like she hadn't been going to school with a hat, obsessively, for the last 3 months.  I thought "Ok, Amy, don't make a big deal about it.  Just go with it."  I did tell her, calmly, as I've told her before, that when she doesn't wear a hat to school, lots of people will comment about it.  She said, "No they won't."  I tried to assure her but she seemed fine.

She was a little quiet in the car, but the anxiety hit full force when she got out.  She started to cry and said "Mommy!  Please go get my hat!!"  In the middle of the car pool line, with about 20 cars behind us because the first bell had already rung, I jumped out and, as calmly as I could (which wasn't all that calm) tried to assure her.  I told her I couldn't get her hat but I could walk her into school.

(Thank you Lord for some presence of mind!!)

I parked the car and walked her in.  We talked a little bit, her big fear was that people would say she looked like a boy (because two little boys that we know have made that comment.)  I asked her when we started listening to them and she tried to smile.  But I could tell she was afraid up to her eyeballs.

We passed without incident (Sorry, Ms. Shenker if you are reading this.  I didn't have time to check in with the office and get a badge....I hope you understand!) until the Pre-K hall, when her teacher from last year saw me.  I gave her look and she came out to see.  She nearly started crying, which made the magnitude of what was happening and just how brave Sophia was being, hit me between the eyes.

I got her to her class and her teacher, who is so wise, Looked At Me.  I said, "She's a little nervous about it" so she just said, "Sophia, I'm very proud of you."  Then swept into normal routine.  God Bless Ms. Harrell - she is amazing.  Especially when she got within an inch of a boy's face when he started laughing when Sophia finally walked into class.  I didn't hear what she said, but she said it in what I imagine was such a voice, he might have feared for his life.  He certainly wasn't laughing after that.  And I Thanked God again for what a wonderful teacher He has blessed us with.  Sophia has a lion in a 5'2' Kindergarten teacher's clothes on her side.

What made it easier was when a little boy asked me what happened to Sophia's hair.  He said, "Did you cut it last night?"  She and I looked at each other again and smiled.  It took Sophia a little while to get relaxed enough for me to leave.  And I bawled all the way out of the school.  My best friend said it was like the day I left them at day care for the first time.

I'm sad/happy/proud/scared all at the same time.  I pray it will turn out as non-eventful as those first days in another's care.  I pray that what I told her will be true - that people would just make a comment and that would be the end of it.  It's a big deal for us, but just something pretty cool for them.  I also asked her to call me after my Mom picks them up today for a sleep-over.  But more than that, I pray it is so normal a day that she will forget to call me.

This seems harder to do than all those trips to the clinic.  More heartbreaking than all those pokes.  More emotional than ever.  I don't know what it means yet, but I am SO proud of my girl.  She is so brave and I thank The Lord for her.

I read once that courage isn't the absence of fear, it is the willingness to go on in spite of the fear.  And by that definition, my girl is the bravest of persons I know.

In case you are crying like I have been, let's get back to the funny part.  I have always known there would come a day when my nearly-pajama like (or worse) school dropoff outfits would get me into trouble.  I don't have to walk the girls in so I just go in literally, whatever. 

So, in another unexpected moment - I get in the car wearing brown furry boots (think uglier than UGGs), with hot pink sweatpants (the legs tucked into the boots), a black t-shirt and my husband's Texans fleece pull-over which is at least 2 sizes too big.  No makeup and wet hair pulled back into a ponytail.  It is possibly, in 3 years of school-drops, the WORST outfit I've ever worn.  Dave laughed hysterically when I told him.

Since I had to walk the entire length of school and see numerous people like this, it was God's way of keeping me humble.  Dave's comment was, "Good thing the news crews weren't there this morning!"  Total fashion humiliation that I was obviously not prepared for.

Thank you Lord for my girl.  I will praise You till the end of time for Your work in and through her.

And thank you for the wake-up call.

I'll put on jeans next time.


Gindi said...

I did cry, and then laugh. What a gift this was for you both. I'll pray like you, that this day passes with only the positive comments about haircuts and not the negative.........brave girl!

The Kemps said...

What a sweet and strong girl! Super short hair always makes me think of the beautiful Halle Berry. Maybe you can use this to spin off something from Team Sophia like a support group for girls when they start getting their hair back and call it something like, "Beautiful Like Me." :) Maybe even make a book...