Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hairy Memories

The other night, as I was popping Tums and chugging milk in an effort to soothe my ever fiery heartburn, Derek and I discussed the wives-tale that lots of heartburn means a baby with lots of hair. I'm actually a huge believer in this one. My mom had heartburn with all three of us, and I've had a good head full of hair since the moment I was born. Same with my two brothers...and countless other friends who have had babies who needed a trim at two days old.

Talking about our baby having a good head of hair sparked an interesting memory for me. When I was home for my birthday, my parents pulled down my "baby" box and for the first time in 24 years I was able to revisit all the things that have been special in my life. One in particular, that I couldn't believe my parents had saved, was a little wooden stroller with a little wooden doll in it that my dad had brought home for me from a business trip to Mississippi. As I examined the little doll, I spotted one orange dot on the very top, center of the doll's head...and remembered my five-year-old self putting it there with purpose.

When I was five, my father was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Hodgkin's-Lymphoma. He is now healthy and working on 20 years of surviving, but that little doll holds a special reminder of when my daddy was sick.

I was sitting at our kitchen table, coloring with my dad, who was allowing my little curious mind to ask all kinds of questions about him being sick. I had asked my dad why he had bought a new baseball hat, and he was explaining that because of his medicine, he was going to lose his hair and the hat was to cover his head. Well the wheels in my mind apparently started turning about my daddy losing his hair, because a few minutes later I exclaimed to my dad that he didn't need the hat. When his hair fell out, I would color his head for him with Magic Marker. And when my dad asked what color I would use, I quickly replied "orange".

I remember fondly that same day playing with my dolly and stroller, and noticing that my little wooden dolly didn't have any hair. Well the dolly came from my dad, so maybe he had lost his hair too. My solution? To take my orange Magic Marker and put one orange dot on the top of the baby's head so he had a little spot of hair.

I brought that stroller and doll back to Washington with me, with the intentions of giving that special toy to my baby, orange dot and all. It's a funny reminder to me that if all this heartburn doesn't produce a baby with a head full of hair, I can always color it on with orange Magic Marker :)

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