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My daughter is 7; it was class picture day.  She came trotting into the dining room.  “I’m ready for picture day!”   Her face was radiant.   She twirled so we could admire her.

A vision in light blue, she wore a tasteful sequined sweater over a girly sundress.  She clutched her Christmas party shoes–the ones with the 1″ heel, in black satin with a few modest rhinestones.  She planned to ride her scooter that day so she placed her party shoes carefully into her backpack.  She’d go full-on Pretty once she got to school.

Chester was dying; I was grieving and blurry but not so much that I missed the hair.  Her hair is chin-length in front, shorter and layered in back.  Pigtails are impractical, but she’d found a way around that.  She’d pulled the longer hair forward to her hairline and secured it with neon elastic. The pigtails were so far forward they seemed to spring from her temples;  they flew out of her head at right angles.  One was lower than the other.

Not all of the hair had been captured and some of it was caught in the elastic two times so it created unintentional loops and renegade strings of hair.

The layered part in the back was tangled beyond belief.  It appeared that 1) we do not own a comb but more to the point 2) we do not care.

We studied her.   “Wow.  .  .  ” my husband began.  I hesitated.  Can I send her to school this way? She twitched her hips and watched the skirt flare away from her legs.  She hummed.

I came to my senses:  She’d had a creative vision, which she proudly translated into a bold design.   More importantly, the spectacle that was her hair reminded me that life isn’t always sad.   Besides, this class picture was gonna be awesome.

“Oh, cupcake,” I said, “you’re spectacular.”


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