She’s seen her mother bald three times over, starting with my first St. Baldrick’s when she was just a year old, just walking and toddling in the way of Beth Bernitt and her clippers. But this year was different.
Perhaps because the girliness has started to kick in now at 4, when princesses are the height of cool, and long flowing locks are the mark of femininity. She’s still confused by boys with long hair, referring to them as “she,” despite our many attempts to explain otherwise.
Maybe too it’s the frequent jokes from other adults within earshot. They ask if I’m going to make her go bald too. Of course, I say no, but the idea is planted.
The first time I brought it up, she told me point blank, “I don’t want you to go bald.”
Floored, I struggled to first find out why – an answer she supplied in true 4-year-old fashion. “Because I don’t want you to.”
It doesn’t get simpler than that.
So I moved onto the explanation. “I’m doing this for sick kids, honey. When I shave my head, people give me money to help the sick kids.”
A nod. Then a look of confusion passed through her eyes.
“But I’m not sick, Mommy.”
And there it was. My reason for shaving my head four times over for childhood cancer.
My kid isn’t sick, so I have the time to spend hitting up Facebook friends and e-mailing colleagues for donations.
The parents of those sick kids can’t. They’re focused on what they need to be – getting their kids well.
And when they’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s projects like St. Baldrick’s that boost them back up.
This year host Fay Cerullo opted not to pick a sick child in the community but an adult, Liberty’s Corby Coney, who is battling pancreatic cancer. While some made donations straight to the family to cover his medical bills, others made donations straight to St. Baldrick’s in his honor to help eradicate cancer for all.
Coney’s wife, Amy, told me Saturday that the latter was just as important for her family as the generous help from the community. It’s knowledge that people are fighting the war while they fight their own personal battle that helps them tackle each day – and each course of treatment – anew.
I don’t shave my head because my child is sick. I shave my head so she never becomes sick.
Want to make a difference? There’s still time to make a donation at St. Baldrick’s.
Or help out another way – the amazing Pilloroo Pillows is giving $5 to St. Baldrick’s for every pillow sold this month! Check them out (my daughter’s favorite is the monkey pillow).