Over the years my kids have learned many valuable lessons from Daniel Tiger. The catchy songs in his show teach kids many things like how to control anger: “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four.” When Daniel gets nervous he learns how to relax: “Give a squeeze, nice and slow, take a deep breath and let it go.” He teaches us about sharing “You can take a turn and then I’ll get it back” and even helps with potty training “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away, flush and wash and be on your way!”
A recent song caught my attention as we were reading a Daniel Tiger book (No Red Sweater for Daniel) before bed. “No matter what you wear or how you change your hair, you’re still you.”
This stuck with me because it’s been difficult losing my hair. I was very worried about how my kids would react but thankfully they all realized I am still the same mommy they know and love even if I’m bald and now I’m fuzzy. Just because my appearance changed, it doesn’t mean I did.
Ironically we read this book on a weekend Chris took the boys for a haircut and asked Reese if she wanted to go to. She told Chris “No I don’t want a haircut, I don’t want to look like Mommy.”
After the initial shock of what she said I laughed about it. Oh no Reese this was not the work of a salon, it took months of chemotherapy to look this good.
Reese did end up going with them to the barbershop but told Chris when she got there she “didn’t want them to cut her beautiful hair.” (She’s already such a diva!) That’s fine she didn’t need a cut like the boys did. And I’m sure my lack of hair made her not want a cut either since she thinks I got it done this way!
But that’s why that Daniel Tiger song hit me so hard that night. We have no idea what people are going through. Who cares what they are wearing, what their hair style is, or what they look like. We tend to be so judgmental but we shouldn’t be because we just don’t know.
The reality is we are all dealing with a lot of shit, some of us a lot more that others. If we choose to express ourselves through our clothes or hair or have conditions like alopecia (remember the whole Oscar slap)or are undergoing chemotherapy than yes we may not have hair or wear hats or scarves on our heads but we are still the same people we always have been. Appearance means nothing. It’s what is on the inside that counts.
I could not have read that book on a better weekend than when Reese commented on my hair. Thank you Daniel Tiger for providing another valuable lesson, this time one that hit me as an adult and made me feel comfortable with how I look now, even without much hair.