Wow – what a party!!
We celebrated Lizzy’s 5th birthday yesterday and it was a blast!! Of course it all starts with the birthday cake – Elena of Avalor had the honor of being the decoration of choice for the cake.
(Grandma and Lizzy)
She loves Elena, and little did she know, Elena would make another appearance late into the night!
Next up – Head Shaving!
Lizzy shaved Daddy’s hair first (with some assistance from Mommy), and then it was Daddy’s turn. It was a surreal moment. I’ll have more on that in a moment.
And finally, the Deed was Done!!
(Lizzy, Daddy and big sis Treasure)
We made sure to collect all of Lizzy’s hair so she could put it under her pillow when she went to bed – after all, the Hair Fairy only comes to little boys and girls who shave their head and put their hair under the pillow. And lo and behold, Lizzy woke up this morning and the Hair Fairy had indeed paid her a visit!
(Lizzy with her Elena guitar from the Hair Fairy)
Let’s get real for a moment. Shaving Lizzy’s head last night was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Lori and I were both trying to put on a good front and be happy and excited for Lizzy on the outside, but on the inside, we were both crying our eyes out. In fact, once the shaving party concluded, Lizzy was surrounded by siblings and grandparents and aunt/uncle, and Lori and I slipped off to the side, held each other and just balled our eyes out. It was hard.
But as we proceeded back into the house to commence the opening of presents, an amazing thing happened. Lizzy became more and more beautiful. I didn’t think it was possible for her to get any cuter, but she did. Those big brown eyes, that contagious smile and the way she moves her eyebrows up and down all became even more prominent than they were before.
Earlier this week Lori received a text from a new friend of ours – Hannah. Hannah and her husband have a little girl who has gone through the same thing as Lizzy. Hannah had seen the post about the upcoming head shaving and she sent Lori a very sweet text. In the text she mentioned how before her daughter’s hair fell out, she was petrified and heartbroken. That’s how we felt. But she went on to say that after the hair fell out, the miraculous happened – they just saw her face – her beautiful face. That text gave Lori and I great comfort, and we experienced the same thing. Just the beautiful face of our sweet Lizzy!
But something else happened along the way as well, but it didn’t quite dawn on me until this morning. I took an exercise walk this morning (a rare event!) and as I was walking, I felt this incredible sense of freedom. And it was confusing at first. I know there is freedom in Christ, but man, oh man, Lori and I have been absorbing some serious body blows lately and we’ve felt anything but free. We have literally just been in survival mode, trying to absorb the most recent body blow and waiting for the next one to happen. Bam, boom, upper cut, left cross, right jab. Hit after hit after hit. Feeling helpless and a victim, a participant in a nightmare that we didn’t want to be in. Hearing the doctors tell us bad news after bad news and dreading what was coming next.
And then we shaved her head.
And suddenly, we weren’t victims anymore. We had taken control of the situation. We looked at the side effects of her hair falling out and said “Fine, you gonna make her hair fall out? well we are going to beat you to it and shave the whole head! Ha – take that. You want to take a shot at us? Well we are fighting back. And guess what? The same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive and in us, so we are going on the offensive. No more victims in the Brooks household. We are going to be bold. We are going to be Loud and Proud. You want to take a shot at us? Go ahead because we got twice as many shots coming back at you, and ours is powered by the creator of the Universe!!”
I never knew a shaved head could be so beautiful. So liberating. So powerful. So freeing.