On the day that Corazon moved into our family her social worker picked her up at her daycare center and then they went to her foster home to pick up her belongings. Corazon had cut off three braids from the front of her head and had tried to tape them back on with scotch tape. Corazon seemed thrilled to be moving in and was quite happy and excited but I made a mental note of this because in our culture cutting one's hair is a sign of mourning. She was 4 1/2 years old.
Last week, Corazon cut the hair all around the front of her face leaving lots of spiked hairs and a few "bald" spots to frame her face. When I asked her why she cut her hair she didn't have an answer. I was really upset with her because we were scheduled to take our first family portrait a few days later and there was no way any of us would be happy with immortalizing that moment. I told Corazon I was angry and disappointed and I wanted her to think about what she had done because I couldn't talk to her about it for awhile. I was so mad I didn't want to deal with it or her for awhile.
The next morning we were having breakfast, just the two of us, and the conversation led up to talking about one of her friends, T. and my niece, B. who are both her age and are often catty and mean to Corazon. She was trying to understand why they ask to play with her and are nice one day but then are just plain obnoxious the next day. Corazon said she thought part of the reason was because sometimes they didn't like themselves all the time and used their meanness to protect themselves. Her explanation was that "their meanness protects them and wraps around them like their parents' love." I was impressed with her insights and asked her if she had something that protected her like that. She quickly said "Sure! I built this wall around me a long time ago to keep myself from getting hurt."
The conversation that followed had us both in tears but before I write about my thoughts I want to invite you to read her blog entry for today.