Salon memories and Pass the Rattle

Today we went to my friend’s salon to get Mommy a haircut. I don’t like getting haircuts, it terrifies me in fact, it has been six years since my last one. It shows in my straggly hair in the before photo.

I get really anxious when I go into salons as I had a severe chemical burn across the whole back of my neck as a child. This was due to a permanent my grandmother took me to get at her friend’s home salon when I was about 8-years-old. (this was 1978 so perms were much more harsh back then.) I tried telling them it was burning me, but my grandmother demanded I be quiet so I just sat there crying quietly in agony and put myself in another place until it was over.

After we left, she took me to the Doctor and on the insistence of my grandmother he popped the blister and pressed all the liquid out as I screamed in pain. When we got home, I was switched for not being quiet and for embarrassing her in front of both her friend and the Doctor. I don’t remember if I told my dad, but I do remember going to school with horrible, fried, smelly hair, sore legs and backside and a giant bandage across my neck and people asking me what happened. I was still disconnected and looking back now, I think I may have been in shock. (but that is a story for another post.)

So that explains, why this was also an exercise in anxiety management under stressful situations. Sophia was so supportive and caring, and kept checking with me to be sure I was ok, and of course, I smiled and assured her I was fine, but that I really appreciated her concern and support. (This is modelling behaviour and works beautifully as she is very compassionate and caring. I don’t keep family secrets from her, she knows my stories.)

Sophia really enjoyed chatting with Shiella and watching how she cut my hair. In addition to scissors, she uses a straight razor! Hair falls everywhere and I picture Edward Scissorhands behind me as she is so fast and fluid in her movements.

Sophia thought that was amazing and she was really impressed with the final result and kept saying what a great improvement it was. She took pictures of before and after with her phone as well.

Sophia talked the whole time… mostly about Animal Jam. Poor Shiella learned more about Animal Jam than she had bargained for I am sure, but her daughter may become a new player now as Sophia sold it really well. 😉

I really love how she engaged Sophia and asked her questions about the game and included her in the whole process answering Sophia’s questions in a gentle loving way.

Sophia was so impressed, she even said she may let her cut her hair some day.

These beautiful patient people are what makes a community strong. We are grateful to Shiella for a wonderful Salon experience for both myself and my curious little autodidact.

Before                                                   After

After our hair appointment, we went and met daddy for lunch at one of our favourite places. I love hearing the conversations these two have during lunch. They talk about such serious topics and yet are so silly and playful as well.

Then we went home and had some quiet reading time. (A must after doing new things and being around so much stimuli in the restaurant. We call it defragging.)

I needed this down time just as much as she did as I had to process again the contrast between my and Sophia’s childhoods. It brings great joy to see her so happy, yet it still is a challenge as each new experience we share, brings up connected supressed memories for me to relive and find peace with.

She is my gift of grace, and brings me peace and solice through allowing her to have the chidhood I wanted so desperately, and that every child deserves.

Lunch with Daddy                                     Defragging

We began an upcycling project a bit later, turning a rattle from a child’s toy into a work of art for our Red Tent meetings. We used this particular rattle as it has been travelled with us, it has been in California, Oregon, Australia and New Zealand and is one item she has had since birth that is precious to us both because of all the memories it holds.

We talked about the history of Pass The Rattle, which is something we do in our red tent. We give each girl or woman a chance to speak. The person holding the rattle speaks and everyone else listens, no interjecting, advice or judgement, just lending an ear and being there for each other. When they finish, we all stay silent while she passes the rattle to the next person and again listen to the person speak, and so it goes until it goes around the circle and everyone has had a chance to speak. This reinforces the value and importance of every woman and girl being heard. We provide a safe place for that as nothing shared in the circle leaves the circle it is all in confidence.

Later on, she went out and used her imagination and played with her walking sticks while enjoying nature and all the birds, rabbits and of course her crazy duck.

Sanding the rattle                                 Walking sticks

She also did some digital art today and strummed the guitar for a while this morning as well other things.

She also played computer games with Max when he came home. They have been spending more time playing together and getting along really well.

Today was a great day. I feel really blessed with our lives.

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