When you're a little girl living in small-town Virginia with alopecia totalis, you say things like, "Mom, no one else has alopecia."
You notice that no one looks like you, and over time, insecurities begin to slowly creep in.
Suddenly, even a Chick-fil-A playground becomes intimidating.
You're afraid of how the other kids might react to your baldness.
And everywhere you go, you are reminded of it.
Until a heavenly day when you meet another little girl.
And she looks just like you.
And the two of you suddenly realize you are not the only ones.
(Which naturally prompts minutes of uninterrupted, joyous giggling.
And makes Mommies want to remember this moment forever.)
Meet sweet Annie.
She's 4. We're 5.
She's in Oklahoma. We're in Virginia.
Through a mutual friend, I (Amy) was connected to Annie's mom, Brooke, three years ago as Caroline's hair was falling out.
Annie's onset of alopecia was a quick one (she lost all of her hair in a matter of days). Caroline's was slow (10 months).
Brooke and I have spoken on the phone, emailed, kept up on blogs and facebook, but we'd never met.
Until last week!
Through God's good providence and alot of hours of driving and flying, we met up and took our girls to the zoo in Ft. Worth, Texas.
"Who has alopecia totalis?" I asked. "We do!" they shouted back.
Caroline told one woman that she & Annie had alopecia totalis, to which the woman replied, "Oh, well, that's bad."
"No, that's fun!" Caroline corrected her.
Yes, sweet daughter. You tell 'em.
As you can imagine, these two were the fastest of friends.
I struggle for words to describe the meaningfulness and significance of that day.
It was a day that none of us will ever forget.
(Also meaningful that day was that this little guy turned 6 months! I simply cannot believe he has been in our life for half a year already.)
(and a trip to the zoo isn't complete without a nap in the stroller)
Of course, you take two bald girls to the zoo, and the animals aren't the only "attraction."
I couldn't help snapping this picture (above) just to attempt to inconspicuously capture the reaction. Well, unfortunately the adults turned their eyes away just as I took it, but you can still see the little girl's face.
That's just called normal to us.
You spend a day in public with us and you'll quickly realize there is no such thing as anonymity.
But for this day, these girls weren't the only ones.
And that couldn't make these two mamas any happier.