Today was an amazing day.

I spend a lot of time hiding from the world.  I don’t often entertain.  I’m not quick to share details of my life.  I am much more comfortable as background noise, than as the main attraction.  I do not withhold because of shyness.  I am quite comfortable in front of even large groups to train, teach, inform, organize – whatever is needed – as long as it’s about someone, or something else.

Tonight I feel naked.

I sat in an elementary school gymnasium today, in front of approximately 250 students, teachers and visitors to have my head shaved as part of a cancer research fundraising campaign.  I was not nervous.  In the days leading up to this one, there was ever-increasing excitement growing in my heart.  I got to this place in a round-about way, but I was glad to be here.

My son and I were able to have our heads shaved at the same time – side by side.  I hated that I couldn’t watch him.  I almost asked the stylists if we could turn the chairs to face each other.  I wanted to look in his eyes.  But it didn’t really matter.  We were there together.   His whole class came forward to cheer for us.  It was almost surreal.

The stylist stopped to look at me as I approached the chair.  “Are you sure?” he asked.  “Oh, yes” I replied.  He tried to talk me into a #5 clipper to start with, so it wasn’t so short.  I said I would shave my head, so I need to shave my head.  I wasn’t going to do this half-way.  With the first pass of the clippers, everything changed.  That simple stripe up the back of my head, behind my left ear brought out intense feelings.  With each pass, I felt different.  It wasn’t just that I felt lighter, or cold.  I felt free.  I felt exposed.  I felt naked – in the most wonderful way.

When we were done, my son came to me and melted in my arms.  It was emotional for him to.  This started because he wanted to make his Scout leader proud – a man who lost his battle with cancer just five weeks ago.  The oldest son of the Scout leader spoke at the assembly, as did the daughter of another school family fighting cancer.  Such beautiful words from these young souls.  Such heartache and trials for these young souls.

So many people responded with amazement when I told them I was doing this with my son.  They were excited for the fundraising effort and shocked that I would shave my hair off.  I was in that same place once.  I watched others do this same thing two years ago and felt I could never do it.  Yet here I am today – happy.  Today in the gym, I was met with more amazement, stares and whispers.  I was focused on my son and didn’t pay much attention.  But after it was done, I stood there in the gym so excited with my bald head.  I wanted people to stare.  I wanted them to ask questions.  I stayed for the rest of the day with the kids to help out and to walk around, proudly.  Some kids I work with asked if I was going to get a wig.  On the contrary, I want a great big flashing sign that says


This was an incredible experience for me.  I have not felt this good in a long time.  I can’t hide now.  A bald (or nearly bald) woman stands out a bit.  Until my hair grows in I will be, in a way, naked.  Naked feels good.

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