Well, this sucks. A lot. Poor Zoey is pretty upset about what happened and I don’t blame her one single bit. I mean usually I’m the first one to tell my kids to buck up and shake it off and make lemonade and shit, but this time it’s harder. Lemme start at the beginning.
So Zoey came home from school on Tuesday and was walking through the kitchen when I noticed something.
ME: Zoey, what happened to your hair?
ME: Did you cut it?
ZOEY: (panic) WHAT?!!!
Based on her reaction I immediately realized she had no idea what I was talking about. And I kinda doubted Zoey would cut it herself since she learned that lesson a long time ago. Anyone remember when she did this when she was four?
So I knew she probably didn’t cut it herself this time. I could see she was starting to freak out.
ZOEY: What’s wrong with my hair?!
ME: Ummm, it just looks like a little chunk of your hair was, uhhh, cut in the back.
I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because I didn’t want to upset her, and to be honest I was trying to hide that I was freaking out a little. I mean it was a pretty good chunk. Probably about 50 or more hairs were cut in a straight line about an inch from her scalp right around where a high ponytail would be. And it was sticking up like Alfalfa. I would show you what it looks like but there’s no way in hell I was going to make her upset by taking a picture of it.
ZOEY: I don’t want to have short hair!! I like my hair!!!
ME: It’s not short, honey. It’s just one tiny little place. I promise. Can you think of how your hair might have gotten cut?
ME: Were you guys using scissors at school today?
ZOEY: Yes. But who cut it? Who would do something so mean?
ME: I don’t know, honey.
And for the rest of the afternoon, Zoey had this sad look on her face. And I was sad for her. Luckily I was able to part her hair on the other side and brush it over the section to hide it, but that didn’t turn her frown upside down. Because her sadness was less about worrying how her hair looks and more about feeling violated by one of her friends. There are only eighteen kids in her class and she really thinks of each one of them as a friend. No enemies. No girl drama. Eighteen friends.
Of course I immediately reached out to her teacher and we talked about it a lot. She had no idea who would have done that, and she even drove back to the school that evening to look for any clues before the custodian cleaned. Nothing.
And the next morning Zoey was still thinking about it.
ZOEY: Mom, did they find out who did it?
I can’t blame her. I’d want to know the same thing.
ME: No honey. We might not ever know.
ZOEY: I just want to know why they did it.
ME: I know WHY they did it.
ZOEY: You do?! Why???
ME: Because they’re hurting in here (I pat my chest). Zoey, I want you to listen to me carefully right now. I know you feel embarrassed, but this is not about YOU. This is about them. This is about someone else feeling so bad on the inside that they did something bad to you.
And she sat there for a moment thinking about it.
ZOEY: I feel sorry for them.
Yup, that’s when I knew she got it. She GOT it. People who do bad things usually do it because they feel bad on the inside.
And I think it made her feel better. I mean she didn’t start smiling on the spot or anything, but she finished getting ready for school, brushed her hair like nothing was wrong, and was laughing by the time she headed out the door. And she hasn’t mentioned it since.
She’ll probably never learn who cut her hair, but I kinda think she learned something more important this week. That even if you’re nice to everyone, someone might still be so angry that they take their pain out on you. And it sucks. Whether it’s a kid with a scissors or a kid with something else. But all we can do is keep being nice, keep smiling, keep trying to help other people, and keep hoping it’s enough.
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