... is different and a bit more complex than alopecia at age 3.
And since it's been awhile since I've blogged about it, I thought I would tell you how.
My little girl is starting to realize her uniqueness. She knows that her alopecia makes her different. But anyone who knows Caroline also knows it's surely not causing any lack in the self-confidence department. :)
She loves to dress up around the house with a "wig." (which is really just a headband with fake hair extensions I got from the dollar store & put it into a braid at her request... yeah, big budget, huh?)
It's become a little more occasional that she hears comments or questions about her baldness, and when kids ask her why she doesn't have hair, she just ignores them. (which I think is so funny! "Mom, a kid kept asking me why I didn't have any hair!" "Well, what did you tell them?" "I didn't say anything! I just kept playing.")
Mostly it's adults that can give the rudest stares. Little kids are much more accepting.
Our town is small and friendly. Taking Caroline out in public (both due to her personality and her baldness) is like wearing a sign that says "PLEASE, PLEASE notice me." It's like having a miniature pavorazzi wherever we go. We just get noticed, whether we want it or not. And my kid eats it up. She wins hearts wherever she goes. I guess because of her appearance, people expect her to act sullen, or insecure, or maybe sickly, but what they see is a beautiful, happy, energetic girl full of LIFE and confidence. (maybe a little tooooo much confidence, ahem....)
When you look so different from everyone around you, it's incredibly special when you meet someone who has alopecia, too. We met Floyd tonight in a restaurant. He approached us with "does she have alopecia?" and when someone starts with that question, it's always exciting to meet people who know what alopecia is. let alone someone who has it! I could tell it was as exciting to him as it was for us. Floyd was 53 years old when he lost his hair. He lost all of it in a matter of 6 weeks, including his eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair. He has the rarest form of alopecia: alopecia universalis (aka no body hair).
At four, I'm starting to see alopecia growing my daughter in maturity.
We talk little about outward appearance.
We talk much, much more about everything else.
(Maybe the time we save on washing, styling, and cutting hair gives us more time to focus on other things??)
I know my daughter inwardly holds onto the hope that one day she'll grow hair again. Though I know the statistical unlikelihood of this, to that hope I tell her, "Yeah? I don't know! Maybe you will! We'll have to see!" But for now we rock the bald and embrace bald as beautiful!
I never would have envisioned a life with alopecia, but now I can't imagine our life without it.