Sloth Woman; Roller Girl; and the Power of Vigilante Red
Like a lost meandering sloth, I feel the afternoon slowly inching toward quitting time, but today it is not fast enough for my insides. Internally, I am wrestling with an overwhelming sense of soul-sucking suffocation that has been present for a month. I am mechanically performing my duties.
Glancing up, I see Roller Girl slowly sauntering toward me. In her eleven years of life, she has mastered the art of being bulletproof. She is smart, brave, funny, capable, wonderfully unique, and talented. Yet, she still feels alone and different in a culture that expects conformity.
Approaching me, her eyes search mine for an invitation to chat. I know this look well, she used it on me the second day of Kindergarten six years ago. We have been riding this carousel together for six years. I "get" her on more levels than she has any idea. Yet today, the second to the last day of her elementary journey, here she is again. Aloofness is present and she is precisely choosing her words. I ask her about graduation (awards ceremony). She shrugs and acts like it is no big deal. I see other students walking around with family; leis around their necks; and other celebratory mementos of this event. She stands in front of me with nothing. She has come to her "safe" place but is wanting me to use mental telepathy to know "all" of what is going on in that head of hers. She makes an excuse and leaves.
In an instant, I know what I MUST do. The idea came fully formed and slipped under the door of my heart like a secret note. I have come to understand that sometimes doing the unexpected is the right thing to do. So, picking up my phone, I call my hairdresser and make an appointment for the evening. The sloth was gone and the spotted zebra was back!
Arriving at the hair salon, I change into a black cape and slid into the chair. Multiple times my hairdresser confirms that I really want to do what I am asking her. LOL! (She didn't really believe me.) Slowly, she starts the process. Moments in she pauses and stares, but I simply nod in affirmation for her to continue. Several times she reminds me that this is "permanent" (for like a month). Oddly enough, my mind is at peace with all of this.
Fifty minutes later, my hair is officially, "Vigilante Red." It is bold. It is fun. It is radical. I have been obedient to my Father's promoting and there is no other way to explain this deep joy that is welling up and causing me to bounce around like a bouncy ball. As I drop the top of my car, my giggles are audibly swirling through the air for all to hear.
Wednesday morning, the last day of this school year, is here. I am super excited to get to work. Sliding in early, I hide in my office. School starts and my friend retrieves Roller Girl. I hear them enter. Stepping out of my office, she freezes and our eyes lock. Her jaw drops open. I stand as still as a statue with the grin of a circus clown plastered on my face. She squeaks out, "Is that really real? Did you really do that? Why did you do this?" Silence hangs thickly in the air. Seconds tick by. Like a spark that suddenly catches fire, the realization made it's way to her consciousness.
Rushing towards me, I wrap my arms around her and hug her like a mama bear hugs her cubs. Moments slip by and she mutters, "You're the best!" I take the card I had penned and press it into her hands. I have learned the power of paper and pen. Paper is intimate and the written word is powerful. Silently, she accepts the card, turns and floats out. Pausing at the door, she turns and flashes a smile that I will NEVER forget.
The card holds my words of affirmation about who she is; my belief in her; and the safety that we will be here for her as she ventures on through her education. Her grip on that card as she left tells me that the words penned will be guarded and held onto as oxygen for her soul. She will be able to go back and re-read them over and over.
Yes, I changed my hair color to the color or her hair. I became like her in order for her to thoroughly understand just how much I was "for" her. I surrendered my identity to show how much I believe in her. This afternoon as she was leaving, she had my opened card tightly clutched in her hand. With one last hug, I watch her skip off the grounds and out of my sight.
In the shower tonight my Father whispered, "This is exactly what I did for you. I sent Christ, as flesh, to become "like" you, just like you became like Roller Girl. Just like you penned those powerful oxygen-giving words for Roller Girl, I have penned powerful, oxygen-giving words for you." May I savor His penned words as much as Roller Girl savors mine.
Until We Chat Again,
The Plank-Eyed Girl