Monday, March 11, 2013

Twirling (written by Jenny)

Ainsley is a thumb sucker.  I tried and tried to get her to take a binky, but she is VERY strong willed!  Like everything else, she showed us who was boss!  When Ainsley gets stressed, sick, tired, or scared, she will suck her thumb and twirl her hair.  I have been working with her over the past year or so, to "pet" her hair, instead of twirling it.  She would twirl it so much that she would put huge knots in it and I would have to cut them out.  It was funny when she would correct my good friend Sara for twirling her hair.  She would say, "Sara, you can't twirl your hair, you have to pet it!"  She was good at telling others what to do, but shes had a hard time following it herself!

Ainsley identity is her hair.  Without fail, when someone meets Ainsley, they always mention her beautiful hair.  And, it is beautiful.  My Mom has the same curly hair.  I was so happy that I finally got a baby girl with those curls!  Not only that but it has the most beautiful red streaks in it.  I LOVE red hair.  Hence, I have been dying my hair red since the 6th grade!

When I finally came to terms with the fact that Ainsley really did have cancer, I had to then come to terms with the fact that she would most likely loose her hair.  I was devastated for her.  While we were in the hospital, she saw a commercial of a barbie that you could change it's hair color.  She said, "Your hair is what makes you beautiful."  She said this having no idea that she would most likely be loosing hers.  I decided that I needed to start showing her pictures of little kids that have lost their hair.  I would say, "Look at this beautiful little girl!"  Ainsley would say, "No she's not, she doesn't have hair."  Uhggg.....  My heart hurt....  How was I going to help my baby girl know how beautiful she is, hair or no hair.  I continued to show her pictures over the next few days, and she was given a barbie that didn't have any hair.  I was so excited when after taking a walk in the hall she said, "Mom, I saw one of my friends with no hair!  She was beautiful!"  Tears sprang to my eyes.

It has been almost two weeks since Ainsley began chemo.  On Sunday, I noticed that she was twirling her hair a lot.  She hadn't felt very well, and this always brings her comfort.  We were snuggling on the couch and all of the sudden she handed me a small chunk of hair.  She said, "Sorry Mom, I didn't mean too."  My heart broke for her.  I told her that she was just fine.  Throughout the day she kept handing me more and more hair.  It was so hard to watch.  Today, has been the same.  I find hair balls all over the floor.  I started to talk to her about what is going to happen over the next few weeks.  I told her that because of the medicine she is taking that she will loose more and more hair.  I told her that it is not her fault.  I showed her more pictures of children who have lost their hair.  She asked me, "Mom, how will I twirl my hair?"  and "I don't want to loose my hair."  I told her she was beautiful with or without hair.  Then she said, "Mom, I am afraid the kids at school will laugh at me."  It felt like a punch in the stomach.  My poor baby girl.  Cancer really sucks.  Now as she sleeps, I can cry my eyes out for her pain, but when I am with her, I have to be strong.  She needs to know that we can be strong together.  I am so proud of my 4 year old.  She is so brave.  Even though she is afraid and confused, she is learning, and growing and fighting!  I am so proud to be her Mom.
Some of the hair I have collected from this evening.


  1. Tears....can't say more than that. My heart hurts with yours.

  2. Oh my heart is breaking. The hair thing really gets to me. Tears. My my oldest son is almost 3 1/2. I can't imagine going through this with a child so young. And with all the questions Ainsley so intelligently asks. You are incredibly strong Jenny! You too Bryan. I've so much enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for keeping us all informed on how things are with your family. We are cheering you on and praying for many blessings. Love you guys! -Jamie Smith (Nicholes)

  3. Ainsley will have her beautiful face no matter what happens to her hair. I still feel sad when I see pictures of Andrew with a full head of hair, and I kept one of those first handfuls of hair he pulled out, but I think I miss our pre-cancer innocence more than I actually miss the hair. The baldness is so symbolic of cancer treatment.

    When I asked Andrew if he worried about going to a Kindergarten field trip with his bald head an nose tube, he told me "The great thing about friends is that they don't laugh." I've noticed a few double takes from surprised strangers, but nobody has ever laughed at Andrew. When we invite his friends to our home, they sometimes ask why he has a nose tube, and then they play like they always have.

  4. I just read your comment on my blog. It makes me emotional knowing that you are praying for us--especially amid all that you are going through. You are a true friend and I love you from the bottom of my heart!