Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Guest Author: Kay Stockham

Hey, all. Kay Stockham's visiting again and she has a new book out this month. Welcome Kay!

I’m trying to prepare myself. For years my daughter has wanted to cut her long, beautiful hair and I’ve put her off. Her hair is gorgeous. Cut it? Having a mop of unruly, curly hair susceptible to heat and humidity changes that leaves me looking like Bozo the Clown, I’m very envious of her straight, thick locks.

A couple of years ago, a friend of hers made a donation to Locks of Love. That’s where a person grows their hair ten to twelve inches long (or longer) and then cuts it and donates the length to L of L so that they can make wigs for cancer patients, or those with conditions damaging hair growth. What a great project, no? My mother has been cancer free for four and a half years, and she lost her curly red hair right off the bat with her first chemo treatment. After hearing this, my daughter and I decided this was a project we could relate to.

But, that was also my excuse—her hair was too short then. It had to be longer. “If you really want to cut your hair, why not let it grow out and then cut it for a good cause in honor of Mommaw? You can make the donation in her name.” (I’m shameless, I know. But I also know my daughter and I knew if I let her do it then, she’d be screaming like a Drama Queen about how I’d made her cut her hair. Trust me, it’s the age. LOL)

Well, a couple years have passed since that enterprising and desperate idea/plea, and now my daughter’s hair is longer than ever—and she’s hounding me to take her to have her hair cut because she knows without a doubt it’s the required length.

For all of you thinking I’ll renege. You’re wrong. Of course I’ll do it. A deal is a deal. But I dread seeing it gone.

While Dear Daughter is definitely growing up, I still see her as my baby. So many memories have been made while brushing out the long length. I remember the way we pulled it up in a high pony tail and curled it for dance recitals. Then there was the sleek up-do for the Father-Daughter Valentine Gala. Wild Halloween styles and fun-loving braids for hat days or streaked with scarlet and gray for special events at school. And let’s not forget all those photos of Dear Daughter on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, her hair tumbled about her shoulders and face.

See what I mean?

It’s just hair. It’ll grow back. I know this. So why am I so reluctant to have it cut? Dear Daughter has even said she plans on growing it long again to donate it a second time. But this Mom is definitely attached. Stuck in the past? I freely admit it. I can’t help it. She’s grown up so fast and I think to me her hair represents her childhood. Something I’m very attached to and I miss very much.

Which brings me to my all important blog question: Have you ever had to follow through on a deal like the one I’ve made? Have you or your family ever donated to Locks of Love? If so, please share your stories. As a consolation prize/doing a good deed, I’ll choose a winner from those who post and they’ll receive a copy of ANOTHER MAN’S BABY—my new series from Harlequin Superromance. I proposed this series nearly two years ago, and to see the first book of five hitting the shelves is just… awesome! For a sneak peek at the story, check out the book trailer on my website and don’t forget to play along with my Launch Party Scavenger Hunt Contest! Prizes abound. J

Thanks for letting me hang out in the convertible!


Betina Krahn said...

Kay, welcome back!

I love the Locks of Love idea and organization. Personally, I don't have the hair for it-- my hair grows about 1/2 inch a year and isn't especially robust. I believe I'm a long-haired person in a short haired body. sigh.

And the closest thing to this I've ever done is walking in hunger marathons. Oh, and giving up stuff for Lent-- which by comparison is pretty mild stuff, even if done right.

Interesting how we moms attach to certain things in our kids. Probably inevitable-- after all they were majorly attached to us at one point! The tough part is letting go millimeters at a time.

Helen Brenna said...

My daughter would never let me do anything with her hair from about the age of 4. So, I never had the chance to get attached. I'm guessing though it's likely more about letting go as they grow up than anything. That's always hard.

Oh, and I had to laugh at your question about follow through. I make all kinds of silly promises. I was coaching my daughter's soccer team and we were having a tough year, lots of losses. We were having a particularly tough game one night, the field was a mucky mess and we couldn't score for anything. I PROMISED that if they scored, I'd roll through the mud after the game.

Sure enough, they scored and I got really dirty! It was fun though. Those girls will never forget it!

Thanks for coming by today, Kay!

Michele Hauf said...

Welcome, Kay!

I have always had long hair, but just last Fall I finally just did it. I cut it all off. I was able to donate to LOL, as well. That was cool. ANd I didn't even miss the hair! It was so freeing! I know, I'm older than your daughter, but it sounds like you're more attached to it than her. It's a huge change, but it's definately worth it.


Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Kay
Great to have you here and what a wonderful gift of love your daughter is making. I make bargains all the time. My last was with my Grandson who was having a hard time with his pottie training. We made a deal that if HE didn't wet his pants that I wouldn't wet mine either. For some reason, this resonated with him. go figure. We both kept our end of the bargain!:o)

Kay said...

Hi, Ladies!

Sorry I'm late. Lots to do this morning.

LOL Helen! I hope they got pictures! I'd love to see them.

Yes, I'm most definitely more attached to DD's hair than she is. No doubt about it. But I'll get over it. *sigh* We've got a cute cut picked out and she's all smiles so... It's practically a done deal. *sob!* LOL

Thanks for posting!


Fiona said...

Hi Kay. Three cheers for your daughter. You must be soooo proud.

Take lots of pictures, and keep a small lock for yourself!

I did the Locks of Love donation about 1 1/2 years ago. I had not had short hair for decades. I am going to do it again, when my hair grows out enough. Just looking at the website was enough.

I make deals (OK, bribes) with my teenager all of the time--it's the only way I can get him to do anything. LOL

Playground Monitor said...

My sister grew her hair out and donated to LOL year before last. She knew she didn't look good with long hair, but she has such nice, thick hair and said she just had this wonderful warm, fuzzy feeling when they cut that ponytail off.

There were three little sisters near here -- triplets actually -- who all grew out their hair and had it cut at the same time to donate to LOL. The story made the local news. These girls were only six or seven, and I thought it was great they were so aware of others at such a tender age.

As for keeping a bargain... When the Nintendo game sets came out my boys wanted one and I said no. I didn't want them becoming couch potatoes. Then they had to sell tickets for a Cub Scout thing and the top prize was a Nintendo set. They asked me if they could get the Nintendo if they sold the tickets. They'd have to sell 1500 tickets at a dollar apiece and I never dreamed they'd accomplish it. Oh me of little faith! They sold 1500 plus a few more and how could I say no. They're grown now and one is an architect and the other started grad school in January to get his master's degree in... physical education. No couch potato there!

I watched the video and love the line "What happend when you finally find The One... and it's two?" I love the whole knight in shining armor premise. And they're the Tulanes of Tennessee. I'm in Alabama. We're neighbors. The book sounds awesome.


Christie Ridgway said...

Kay: I feel your pain. Son 2 has wonderful, blond curly hair. Think Shirley Temple type curls. Two years ago he started getting mistaken for a girl and that was it for him. He wanted the beautiful stuff gone. I resisted many times. I think I cried once. And then I broke down and realized the obvious: It was his hair.

My husband cut it for him and I asked them to save it. There was enough of the fluffy stuff to fill a shopping bag! I saved one perfect curl. ::sniff::

His hair is longer again now, not as long as before, and he's talking about cutting it again. I have to bite my tongue and rue the day I told him it was his. It's NOT his hair! It's mine! It's mine!

Wonderful that she can donate to LOL. Hey! Maybe I can get my kid to let his grow for that...

Thanks for joining us today. I love the cover. The heroine has very pretty hair!

lois greiman said...

Hey Kay, welcome. Good to have you here in the convertible with blowing in the wind. Whoops. Sorry to mention hair.

Actually, your blog really spoke to me. My daughter has that long, gorgeous hair too...about twice as much as I do. She's talked about cutting it for years and I always thought it was a mistake. I can always cut it, but once it's gone... And I know it's just a small part of her...and yet...

However, about a year ago, when she was just about to head off to college and needing money, she told me the Miss America program gives out 45 million dollars in scholarships, so I encouraged her to compete. See the beauty of this? See my absolute conniving genius?? Miss America contestants NEED long hair, don't they? :)

Feel free to try my idea. All you need is about a half a million dollars worth of evening gowns and four inch heels.

Come to think of it...Locks of Love is probably a better idea. Good for you and daughter.

Susan Kay Law said...

My son cut his hair for locks of love about three years ago. In the middle of the night, shaved it off in his friend's garage, at which point they all trooped into my bedroom at one in the morning to show me what they'd done!

It was funny. All my husband's friends used to nag us about how come we let him have such long hair. But all MY friends loved his long friend, and they still miss it. I think his Grandma cried. But now he keeps it buzzed off. He got hooked on how easy it is. I guess he's just a creature of extremes.

Follow through? Hmm. I had to not say anything when they got tattoos, because I told them I wouldn't if they waited until they were eighteen. That was hard. And I had to pay for one of them . . . it was a good cause, though. (My son's SURVIVOR tattoo when he finished treatment.)


Kay said...

Christie, ah! A Mom who feels my pain. Thanks for the sympathy. ;)

Susie, I sometimes wonder if my husband and I are the only two people on earth without tattoos. But to have a 'survivor' one? That's a statement.

Marilyn, wow! 1500 tickets? That's awesome! Congrats on your hard working boys. You've obviously done a great job.

Thanks for hanging with me today, ladies! I'll check back later in the evening. Am I supposed to draw a name or Helen? Since Helen's my Super-buddy, I'll let her do it. :)

Keep those posts coming!


Liza said...

I've never donated my hair to LOL, but my younger cousin let her hair grow for 3 years so she could donate. She and 3 of her friend ended up having 10" each cut. She is already letting it grow again so she can donate agian in a couple of years.

I could have donated had they collected when I was younger. When I was 13, I had between 10-13 inches of hair cut off, and my hair still was just below my shoulders. Awesome way to give to those in need.

Playground Monitor said...

I sometimes wonder if my husband and I are the only two people on earth without tattoos.

Nope. I don't have one and don't plan to get one. The DH and #2 son have one each. I'm just not into needles.

Neat, though, about the "Survivor" one. That's something to proudly show to the world.

Anonymous said...

No tattoos for me either.

I know two girls that have cut their hair for LofL. My DDs best friend has grown her hair out and donated TWICE. She is 10 yrs old.

My niece just donated her hair this past Christmas Eve. She had 20 inches cut off her hair and the ponytail was as thick as my wrist. (Her mother is from Thailand. And the both have beautiful dark, thick Asian hair.) They said they had enough hair to make 2-3 wigs.

Deal-making. Do it all the time, and most of the time the deals workout for both of us. But, I did have to ride that roller-coaster because of a I will if you will - thinking she never would - deal.

Marcia in OK

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Kay! I've actually grown my hair for Locks of Love and had it whacked off. Very satisfying.

I made more than a few deals with the kid while he was living at home. But I'm like Marcia in OK, the deals have worked both ways.

And as for hair, we never had a fight. I told him he could grow it anyway he wanted in the summer as long as he met the school regulation come the end of August. It took him a while to figure out that was an easy promise since there was a limit to how crazy he could get in three months. Truly scruffy with beard stubble was about the best he could do.

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks for visiting with us, Kay!

flchen1 said...

My daughter and I just cut and donated last summer to Wigs for Kids--her hair is finally growing back in so that we can start putting into ponytails (tiny little ones ;)) again! I've donated once before--thankfully my hair grows relatively quickly, and since I'm a creature of lazy habit, I tend to just pull it back the same way every day for a year or two, then get tired of it and whack it off :)

I remember having very long hair as a little girl, and my mom finally cut when I was about 5--I was crushed, but on the other hand, I didn't miss all the tangles!

As for deals with the kids, we've definitely done a few, but right now they're relatively small, like the "with good behavior for the next three weeks, you can open a new Lego set" kind, not "you can pierce a body part" kind... Not sure how I'll deal when that time comes ;)

Congrats on the new series, Kay! Looks like another good one! And it must be very satisfying to see it finally get to print!

Kay Stockham said...

Hi, Ladies!

Just wanted to say thanks for having me yesterday. I had so much fun chatting with you. :)

Helen, would you like to pick a winner?