I have lost count of how many times during my stays with Jack at Columbia Pres I was told "she is beautiful". Jack dressed in a hospital gown, with long hair, gorgeous eyes and ever present smile was beautiful. My regular response "thank you, he is my favorite". Of course immediately the nurse, doctor, intern, resident who said it apologized. No apologies necessary, Jack is beautiful.
Over the years Jack's hair has come into play in many discussions. Jack has a gorgeous head of hair. When he was younger I worried what Sam's reaction would be when she figured out Jack's hair was gorgeous. Sam, my oldest, tall, athletic, smart, never lets anyone get in her way. It took a while, I think she was teen when it finally dawned her that her brother had the hair the family.
My brother Rob had the hair in our family. Jack has his hair, beautiful, dirty blonde, thick, just the right curl. That was not all Rob had. Once his closest friend Thatcher asked if it bothered me that Rob got all the brains in the family. I looked at him and said "No, what bothers me is he got the great legs." I wanted those.
I knew that from my history, my brother's hair was a huge bone contention with my father. It seemed no matter what he accomplished, his hair was always on my fathers mind. I am not sure how many time he said, "You need a haircut" Rob took course at PU, when he was in HS. My father said "You need a haircut". My brother was PG a Lawrenceville, two were accepted that year, my father said "you need a haircut". Apparently, he was offered a scholarship at the Stratton Mountain School. My father never told him that, but he did tell him "you need a haircut."
Early on, I decided my children will chose the length of their hair.
Yes I decided that after my son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. At seven months, I would hold him and rock him to sleep, not knowing what was in our future, how long my beautiful boy would be with me. I held true to my hair promise. When Jack was hospitalized, just after his sixth birthday, just after halloween, I told him "you do not need to wash your hair or get a haircut until you come home". I was told he would be home in three days. It was eight weeks, and he came home sick. He was not better, he was not cured. They gave up and sent home, with a provac port from which I administered medication and food. I was now in charge of Jack's life.
He came home looking like a hippie. He had dreadlocks. I stayed with my promise and he had not even washed his hair. The day before he left, the day before Christmas, Jeter came to the hospital. He brought gifts for each child. He knew their names and their stories. Jeter stayed for hours. The clip that made the news was Jack with his dreadlocks sitting on Jeter's lap. I do appreciate Jeter. He is a very compassionate man. I for one appreciate what he did for all of those sick children at Columbia that day before Christmas.
I have gotten off track here. Jack is my beautiful boy. I love him with all my heart and all his hair. I feel everyday I have with him is a gift. I think he is beautiful. To all the nurses, residents and doctors at Columbia who looked at Jack and said to me "she is beautiful". Thank you. Thank you for taking care of my beautiful boy. More importantly, thank you Jack for helping me find my way in this world. You see, you are my beautiful boy, you are a gift. Our babies, these children, they are ours for a bit. Sometimes they are with you longer, sometimes not. Love them.