I’m sort of fascinated by chubby babies with full heads of hair because both of my babies were scrawny and bald when they were born … and for about the next year.

As toddlers, they started to get hair – curly for my older daughter and straight for my younger – but even then, they were both able to read before they actually needed their first haircut.

I’m not a super girly-girl myself: I only wear makeup for special occasions and I stick to mascara and lipstick because I look like a kindergartener who got into Mommy’s makeup if I try to do anything beyond that. (I had a brief moment in the late ’90s/early ’00s when I rocked smudgy eyeliner but only because I am incapable of doing any other kind of eyeliner and it just happened to be stylish at that time.) I mostly wear jeans and yoga pants and Birkenstocks, even to work. And my hair is either down or in a ponytail/half-assed bun, but there are no other options. 

My older kid, though? LOVES her hair. LOVES IT. She has a full head of beautiful, luxurious ringlets, and she is forever braiding her hair into fancy styles she saw on TikTok or defusing it (I think that’s the right word?) with contraptions she always asks for every Christmas. She has every kind of product under the sun – gels, creams, sprays – and a whole Pinterest board devoted to hairstyles she wants to try. 

Which is why, when she announced that she wanted to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s, a fundraiser for pediatric cancer awareness, I was more than a little shocked. 

“You love your hair,” I said.

But then she explained. 

“People with cancer love their hair, too,” she said. “And they don’t get a choice. Also, I think losing their hair is probably the easiest part, and it’s still so hard! So I think it’s the least I can do.”

We have had a few friends go through chemo, and she’s not wrong: It is the easiest part, and it is still really hard. 

I am so grateful that, through whatever mysteries the universe holds, my children are healthy. I am so grateful that losing her hair is a choice. And I am, not-so-secretly, kind of sad to think about those curls she worked so hard to grow being shaved away, leaving me with a bald baby once again. 

But I am also so, so proud of her. 

If you’d like to donate to help “conquer kids’ cancer,” you can find her page here.