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You know how, when you were a kid, you’d hear things that wouldn’t make much sense? Like when I ruined dinner and Ladybug asked me what happened; she became very concerned when I replied, “I killed it.”

Whoa. Time to hide the meat cleaver.
Then there are colloquialisms such as “you’ve lost your voice.” Kid Sister, when she was about Ladybug’s age, was terrified of this one. She caught a head cold and when a lot of the congestion settled in her throat, my mother explained that she was losing her voice. Kid Sister decided this meant her voice had wandered off and was never coming back.

Oh, look. Carolynn does have some art skillz. Hello, grade school horizon line.
She laid in her bed at night, calling again and again, “Hellooooo? Helllllooooo?!?” in her sad, hoarse little voice.

Pitiful.

I had a difficult time with one of these sayings in particular. I always pictured it like this:

Mmmm! Nothing beats a fresh green salad.  

Put your money where your mouth is?! That sounds so unsanitary!

I understood that the basic idea was that one was supposed to show that they weren’t just blowing hot air when they claimed to believe in something, but I didn’t really get it.

And then I grew up (about, oh, two months ago) and the light finally went on. This had nothing to do with eating your greens, and everything to do with making some kind of real commitment of resources to the causes you claim to believe in. Basically, a call to avoid hypocrisy.

I’ve always tried to teach my girls that how you love is more important than how you look. However, I did very little putting of money in my mouth to prove that. Actually, most of my spare change went straight into my clothes closet.

Let’s be clear: There is everything right with wanting to present yourself with your best face. And from there on in my beliefs in fashion, presentation, self-worth, and beauty become very complex; ergo, we’ll leave it at that for now, or this post is going to get seriously sidetracked. The point is, I wanted to teach my children that behavior and belief are more important than, say, your haircut, but I wasn’t doing anything to show them that.

But now I’ve made a commitment to put my money where my mouth is.

For the next few years, I’ll be growing my hair from its usual pixie cut to at least 12 inches in length so I can donate it toLocks of Love. I’ve always treasured my short haircuts; they make me feel like I can own any situation. They’re like portable awesome, renewable by a simple trip to the stylist.

Today only, buy Awesome and get Supa Kool for half off!

I’m gonna have to learn to be awesome without it.

I’m gonna have to learn to take care of long hair, so I still present myself the way I want to.

I’m gonna have to actually spend money on shampoo.

But gosh darn it, I’m gonna get it done. My time, my effort, my attitude toward myself — all those resources, I’m putting on the line for something I believe in. For someone else, maybe this isn’t a big deal. For me, I’m kicking out the hypocrite in my life.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

If any of you would like to join me in a commitment to grow your hair for someone else in need (or any other goal for others), please post it below. If we get enough responses, I’d love to check in with everyone once a month. I’ll create a post with pictures of my hair, and anyone who wants to share their progress can email me pictures to put up alongside mine.

Go eat your greens.

I’ve been saving this post for awhile, because the time just never seemed right. Now, however, it does. Take time out today to put your money where your mouth is, wherever that mouth happens to be. And if your mouth (or your heart) happens to be in the general vicinity of Joplin, Missouri, feel free to click here for an article on ways you can help.
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About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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