Mom Dilemma: My Short Hair Reminds My Daughter Of When I Had Cancer

Photo: Ashley Hackshaw
My Short Hair Reminds My Daughter Of Having Cancer
Contributor
Self

Last week, I told my daughter, Boo, I would be at her end of the year party. She asked me not to.

Then she said, "But Daddy can go." Insert a knife to the heart.

When I asked her why she didn't want me to go, she said, "Because of your short hair."

RELATED: The Shocking Photo That Saved This Mom's Life From Breast Cancer

Me: Why does it matter that I have short hair?

Boo: Because the kids ask, "Why does your mom have short hair?"

Me: And what do you tell them?

Boo: Because she had cancer.

She thought my hair was still short because of having cancer — as if it didn't grow anymore.

I told her that my hair is short now because I choose to keep it that way.

And then we came up with a handful of answers she could use instead:

"Maybe the same reason you have short hair?"

"Because she's lazy."

"Oh, her? No idea who she is."

But seriously, when I thought about it, the truth is that I'm lazy about hair. I don't want to spend time doing my hair. I can get ready in 5 minutes flat and no hairdryer needed, ever.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

RELATED: 5 Ways Of Overcoming The Fear & Anxiety Of Breast Cancer Recurrence

Yes, sometimes I do wish I had my long, flowing locks, but I'm not sure I'm ready to give up the freedom I have with my short haircut.

And I realized that there are things my daughter will forever attach to cancer, like the loss of my hair. She doesn't remember the hospitals, or the surgeries, or anything else — but she remembers my hair. And so I'm torn about keeping it short, just for that reason.

Photo: Author

Then I realized, along with the hair, that I'd also never really fully recovered physically.

So, last week I took a big step and signed up for Crossfit. And I signed my husband, Brett, up, too, because we can go together first thing in the morning. And we already know 95 percent of the people there, because it’s a very small town.

Yes, it's a little intimidating but I'll make up my own rules like I always do. The sign that said "no water breaks" on the wall? I broke that rule 5 minutes in.

I think it's going to be really fun... except for snatches. I definitely won't do a lot of snatches. I'll be taking water breaks during snatch time. Yeah, you can't make me; I'll throw a silent tantrum.

(Plus, I can't stop laughing at the word snatch, just like I can't stop giggling when someone says the word beaver. I had to say the word penis the other day at the vet and I almost choked trying to hold the laughter in.)

Maybe one day I'll mature. And maybe I'll grow my hair back out. And maybe I'll be able to climb up a flight of stairs without being winded.

RELATED: I Was Given 15 Months To Live — Here Are 6 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Deal With Cancer

Ashley Hackshaw is a writer, artist, and historian. Visit her website for more.