Rare Hair

June 18, 2013

“Do you ever get stuck?”

Julie and I have had a lot of conversations about how different we are. I like video games. She likes long walks. I like action adventure movies. She likes “Jesus Baldwin” movies. She likes Downton Abbey. I like…okay, that one doesn’t count but you get the point.

Yesterday Lydia left for Camp Del-Haven. She is a volunteer counselor this week. I can’t even describe how proud I am of her. She is growing up into an amazing woman of God. I really have no reason to complain. Still, she is a teenager and prone to poor decisions. Last week she decided to color her hair.

Fuchsia Hair

Like I said, “She decided to COLOR her hair.” If you know Lydia at all this won’t surprise you. What none of us stopped to consider was the impact this may (or may not) have on her opportunity to minister to the underprivileged kids at the camp.

As Julie dropped Lydia off at the camp yesterday, they were both hit with the reality of how this extreme change in appearance might be perceived. Like any good mom, Julie became concerned. After she got home she shared her concerns with me. I told her I had not thought about it either. A few minutes later I received a text message from Julie:

“I wish I could stop worrying about Lydia’s hair. Do you ever get ‘stuck’? Grrr”

My response was short:

“Constantly. Just about different stuff.”

Julie and I are different in all kinds of ways. The list I gave above is just the beginning. We are very similar in plenty of other areas, and no area more than our propensity to worry. We don’t generally worry about the same things, but we do worry.

I don’t worry about what Camp Del-Haven will think of Lydia’s hair, but I do worry about how to pay for her orthodontics. I worry she won’t drive safely. I worry that she spends too much time online. I worry that I’ll make some big mistake that will cause her to stumble in her faith, and turn away from God. I’m afraid to discipline her because I want her to like me all the time. I worry she won’t pick a Godly man to fall in love with.

Do I get stuck? Oh yeah, I get stuck. I get stuck all the time. I don’t have very many answers. Even when I try to give some answers, I’m not very confident in them. I’m really don’t feel very equipped to handle all of this.

I’m just a dad trying to get it right. Julie is just a mom trying to get it right. We both love our kids very much, and sometimes it’s all just hard and a little overwhelming.

Lydia is an amazing young lady. If Camp Del-Haven has the ability to look past outside appearances they will see what we see. For most people it doesn’t take very long to fall in love with Lydia.

Lydia during training last week.

Lydia during training last week.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

James Dibben


11 responses to Rare Hair

  1. She called today and said “no worries, they didn’t mind her hair and the little girls liked it”.

    She has a group of five little girls from six to eight years old. She is having a blast and called me on her break time. She wants to do another week. I knew she’d have a great time being a counselor. I’m almost sure that her calling in life will include children in one way or another!

    I don’t mind her doing something silly and dyeing her hair. I was just hoping it didn’t go against “dress code”. I guess I worried they would have the same attitude about it that they have at school.

    Love you, James 🙂

  2. Oh and I’m not that big a fan of “Jesus Baldwin” movies just because I watched a couple :p

  3. Daisy Diane Gaumat June 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I’m not crazy about wild hair color and such (yes or no – I’m fine) But I have to say that picture of Lydia with the pink hair is absolutely gorgeous! I love it!!!

  4. One of many regrets I have in my life is that I didn’t find certain interests until I was a lot older in life and too far past being able to actually do them, one of those being various trends that are popular now, like steampunk, for instance. Were I a teenager now, armed with the interests I currently have, I would be much bolder about being different, about truly being myself. (That being said, I did dye my hair a deep, rich purple/red combination on one of my trips to NYC when I lived in Tulsa and kept it that way through a couple more dyings…it was fun…but I was in my 20’s).

    Mary and I both think Lydia’s hair is the coolest thing ever. It fits her personality so well, especially given one of her interests being anime/manga. One of my favorite manga series, which is unfortunately laden with too much potty humor to recommend, has a girl in it with blue hair. It fits so incredibly with her personality that I just love it. An incredibly popular young adult author, Laini Taylor, has shocking pink hair, as does super-cool video game designer Jen Timms. Creative people sometimes embrace their creativity in very outward ways. Honestly I think it should be celebrated.

    Lydia may grow up to be something “normal”…and I don’t mean that critically, most of us are very much that. But it hurts my heart on the other hand to see highly creative kids grow up to be normal. Without naming names (not you guys) I have people in my life who discouraged their children’s creativity because of their own embarrassment and misunderstanding and those kids had such talent that is not being utilized at all today. And perhaps they are doing God’s will, but I often wonder why God would have given them those talents only to have them just be something they can do, but not something that informs the path their lives are taking.

    I’m not meaning to come off lecturing, so please forgive me if this has that “tone”. It is really more of an encouragement to embrace this. It is either a phase, and if it is it is a fun one that can be enjoyed, or it is just one of many facets of the personality of a young lady who could grow up to have a career that is intertwined with her art and creativity and passion.

    And believe me, she will get more attention because of her hair at camp than she would have otherwise and the kids, even the less fortunate kids, will a) think it is cool, and b) be more likely to listen to her than they would if she didn’t stand out a bit. Her inner light will be what makes a difference in their lives, but the kids will remember her service to them because she was the girl with the purple hair.

    I was actually sad to hear you guys say that the high school wouldn’t let kids dye their hair. I realize some standards have to be in place, but it seems kind of sad to me that innocent self-expression is seen as the kind of threat that needs to be regulated.

    • Thanks for the long comments, Carl.

      I didn’t feel preached at in the slightest.

      I love your passion when it comes to the world of art, and Lydia is certainly talented enough to engage that world at a very deep level. Thank you for being such an encouragement to her. It means a lot to us all.

      • I felt bad as soon as I hit “post comment” because I felt like it came off as a lecture and that wasn’t my intent. Feel free to smack me in the back of the head next time you see me…outside of work.

        Your kids are all a lot of fun (for us..we don’t have to raise them, ha!) and I enjoy seeing all of their personalities develop.