Haircuts and Timeouts
Some of my greatest memories take place in my mom’s hair salon. When we lived in Kanab an addition built under our carport was home to “Jamie’s Hair-Cutting Cottage”. My mom had her product displayed on a beautiful shelf, and the shop was decorated with burgundy roses and vintage looking chairs and mirrors. I used to spend hours with her sitting in the shop as she talked with clients.
I remember dreaming of becoming a “shampoo girl”. I figured my mom and I could work together when I was older. I could wash hair and she could cut and color it.
In each house we lived in my mom made part of our house the shop. I remember playing with perm rods or pretending to cut my dolls’ hair with my play scissors and styling it with my pretend blow-dryer.
My sisters and I sat in the hair chair in front of the big mirror each morning to do our hair or makeup before school. I still get ready there when I go home.
I think my favorite memories of the shop are times when I got to be the client. My mom still has the cape she used for all of our first haircuts. She would lower the hydraulic chair all the way down so I could hop on and then pump it way up so she could reach my hair. Sometimes I sat on a cushion to help me sit a little taller.
I’d have to sit very still and straight, never crossing my legs or moving as she carefully cut my dark brown hair.
After my hair was styled, my mom would turn the chair around so my back was to the mirror. She would then give me a hand mirror and guide it to the perfect position. With her help, I could see the reflection of the back of my head.
I thought it was pure magic.
I could see my bob, my perm, or my highlights from the back.
I’d request to see the back when she’d braid my hair before school or when she finished curling it before church.
I loved to see what it looked like from the back.
After particularly cute hairstyles my mom would even snap a picture of the back of our heads just to remember what we looked like.
We finished another chemotherapy treatment yesterday. We can count the rest on one hand. Five to go! Jake’s counts still look incredible, and we’re just moving right along.
While we sat through treatment I asked Jake what he wanted to do when we got home, he said, “watch basketball”. I could have guessed. We have game after game recorded that Jake and I watch in the evenings. Basketball must have been on his brain because he used it to teach me something beautiful yesterday.
Before we fell asleep last night I asked Jake what he wanted his fans to know. He taught me about timeouts.
Jake said one of the greatest privileges a coach can offer a player is calling a timeout for them. It means he really needs them in the game, but he’ll give them a break to catch their breath. Instead of just pulling the player out, they stop the whole game until he’s ready to play.
Now the timeouts aren’t long, but they can allow a player to finish the game.
We have lots of people ask how treatment is going. It has been such a blessing to be able to honestly reply, “Awesome!!”, “Really good”, or even “Better than we thought!”. Another reply has entered the mix, “Chemo is quite the process”.
And it is.
In the middle of tough trials or things that are “quite the process”, it can be easy to get tired or impatient. It’s times like that I’d ask my mom how much longer was on the timer for color to be processed or if she was almost done with my layers.
It’s times like that we anxiously look to the coach in hopes of a timeout.
Our Heavenly Father needs us all in the game, even in the tough times in our lives. So, he gives us timeouts. He lets us look at our hair from the back. He gives us glimpses of why we’re here, what we’re learning, and what it’s for.
We are grateful for the process, and grateful to a Heavenly Father who stops the game and reminds us why we play.
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My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!