I am all about community and coming together. I’m it-takes-a-village-to-raise-a-child. I’m many-hands-make-light-work. I’m about belonging and friendships and comfort and safety. So when I had a chance to be involved at Assumption Catholic Secondary School’s “Cut for a Cure” last week, I jumped at the chance. Assumption is a big part of my family’s life, as that’s where my husband has been a teacher for the last 12 years, and it’s also where my children hang out whenever my husband is coaching after school and I’m at work. It’s our everybody-knows-us place, our this-is-good-for-our-kids place, our let’s-build-our-community-roots place.
“Cut for a Cure” has become an annual Spring event, after the resounding success of last year’s inaugural fundraiser. This year, it was combined with a Spring sports pep rally. Picture a school gymnasium packed to the rafters with high school kids. Add in loud music, my energetic (read: loud) husband as emcee, and sports teams filling the floor seats. Then add in a long row of chairs and dozens of go-ahead-and-shave-my-head volunteers paired with hairdressers. And as the volunteers marched in, their hair prepped for wig-making donations, the excitement in the room grew exponentially. The volunteers were overwhelmingly male. Some were teachers, some were students, one was my five-year-old son proudly sporting his mohawk. But some were female. Some were grade 12 girls, the day before their graduation ceremony, willing to shave off their hair to make a donation. To make a statement. To make a difference.
I can only assume that these girls were like I was in grade 12. At seventeen or eighteen, confidence can often run low and insecurity can run high. Appearance is important. Acceptance is important. And let’s face it: society says that long hair is beautiful. Our hair can be our security blanket, our hide-behind, our defining characteristic, and our self-esteem all rolled into one. So to these girls, I say bravo. Bravo for seeing the big picture. Bravo for being mature and wise beyond your years. Bravo for standing up for what you believe in.
And to my five-year-old son, who bravely got his mohawk shaved in front of hundreds of people, I say bravo to you as well. As your hair fell to the floor, so did my tears of pride. You get it, buddy. And you made a difference.