Another day, another therapy session. There’s not much going on, aside from the usual. Namine is trying to eat us out of house and home, as usual – and she’s not even three yet! What’s going to happen when she’s a teen? But I digress. Having nothing out of the ordinary on my mind, today’s post is instead a philosophical one: what does hair mean to you?

At face value, a seemingly simple, perhaps even stupid, question. Hair has never been much of a big deal to me; nearly all my life, I’ve kept my hair pretty short. As long as it’s out of the way, I don’t care. But any parent with a daughter – especially a frou-frou-y daughter like Namine – will tell you that hair symbolizes quite a bit. To Namine, it means beauty. It says I am pretty. She admires and brushes her long hair, and the smile on her face says I love the me I am.

But let me offer the unique perspective of a post-trach parent. When Namine had her trach, we had to keep her hair short. We had to. The trach ties were too difficult to tie around her neck when her hair got long, so chop chop off came the hair. It was a matter of keeping the trach cares – which had to be done twice a day, more if she had a trach infection – short and simple. That made it a matter of health, and given how easily Namine got trach infections, a matter of life and death.

Namine was finally able to have the trach removed last September. No longer needing to do trach cares allowed us to let her hair grow. It’s so fine and beautiful; and Namine herself loves her hair. There is so much personality in everything she does, even the way she brushes it to the sides of her face with her hands. She likes to play with it, and in turn she loves to brush her dolls’ hair.

Something as simple and taken for granted as hair? To me, it means life. I means beauty; love. It means health. It means that not a day goes by that we don’t thank God for giving us Namine. We would be poorer without her.