Hiding In Plain Sight
Something wasn’t quite right, but she wasn’t sure what it was right. Then the dog barked, but when asked about it, she would deny everything.
After she left she quickly took the scissors. She had to get it off before she got back or she’d be caught red-handed.
Jordan Reynolds was a 14-year-old boy who took great pride in his hair. For the last 9 years, he had elegant dreadlocks. It felt like a part of his DNA.
He was a middle child to Melanie, mom, and dad, Max. Max was better known as Maxbeatbox, the Youtuber. Jordan was encouraged to be creative at a young age and express himself in any way he could.
Both his siblings were also encouraged to be who they were and find their own way of expressing themselves.
Jordan’s father was a musician that made music for many different places. like TV, movies, and even commercials. He wanted his children to pursue their passion as he did his.
Dreadlocks have dated back to the bronze age. There are many depictions of the Minoan people wearing dreadlocks in murals.
Even mummies found in Egypt have been found to be wearing deadlock headdresses. Aztecs have also been shown to have been wearing dreadlocks. This meant Jordan’s hairstyle had a deep heritage.
Jordan assumed that his dog wanted to go outside or walk when he started to bark. But his mom had other suspicions.
What was going on behind the scenes? Jordan would eventually learn the real reason behind everything.
Henry had never been vocal before but he was now directing his barking at Jordan, it was strange and he couldn’t figure out why.
It is a common belief that dreadlocks are unhygienic. But even if they are low maintenance they do still require cleaning.
From Bad To Worse
Jordan was worried that perhaps the dog didn’t like him anymore. He tried to bond with him more by spending more time with him. But even when he had treats, he’d still bark at him.
Jordan was frustrated beyond belief, but then his mother realized something he hadn’t. Henry wasn’t barking at Jordan.
A Dog’s Nose
Henry would actually smell Jordan’s hair before barking at him. He couldn’t understand why it was going on.
Dogs have incredible senses of smell and Melanie knew this. She was alarmed, she knew he was barking for a reason. It could have been a warning.
Jordan didn’t believe his mother and blatantly brushed off that idea. He then changed the subject very quickly.
Melanie doubted herself, maybe she was overcomplicating things. Her son seemed to be fine. He knew best for himself, little did she know, Jordan wasn’t being completely honest.
It was on Jordan’s mind for a while now that he wanted a change. As a teenager, it’s no surprise that he wanted to experiment with different styles. But he had no idea his mom knew what he was up to.
Jordan wanted to surprise her but he didn’t expect his dog, Henry to react this way. He had to act fast.
When his mom was out grocery shopping, Jordan quickly asked his dad to cut his hair but carefully. He asked him to chop off the very top of them and to be careful not to disturb the center of them.
Confused, his dad did as he was asked. When his mom returned, Jordan showed her exactly what he had been hiding in his hair.
Jordan waited for his mom to return and jumped out to surprise her. She coiled back in shock before realizing that the boy in front of her was her son. Her jaw dropped at the sight of his shaved head.
Tears began to fall as she wept for her son’s dreadlocks that she had gotten used to since he was 5 years old. But there was more…
Jordan brought her over to the dreads that sat on the table. He asked her to look inside. She cut the dreads and watched as a collage of small photos appeared. They showed Jordan from when he was 5 until now.
Melanie burst out in tears at how much her little boy had grown up. She loved his dreadlocks and she was super upset to see them go but she cherished these photos that Jordan prepared for her. And the dog?
The reason why Henry was barking at Jordan’s hair is still a mystery. Perhaps he could smell the rolled-up photos and knew they weren’t supposed to be there.
Or maybe he did really just want extra love and attention from Jordan. Either way, they’re all living peacefully together now. Even if Melanie is grieving her son’s dreads!
Jordan’s dad filmed the family’s reaction to his son’s departure from his 5-year-old hairstyle and posted it online. His wife’s tearful reaction scored thousands of likes and comments with many applauding their parental style of allowing their kids to express themselves.
However, what would happen if the reason for cutting off years of identity came about from something far more heartbreaking? This is the case with our next family.
Loud But Full Of Love
Rayshawn Mims loved how chaotic his house was, mostly because it came from his five amazing children.
The heart-warming giggles usually outweighed the arguments and tantrums. He was also grateful they had managed to keep their jobs through the pandemic. Life seemed to be tilting in their favor, that is, until he noticed something with one of their kids.
7-year-old Ahkeem loved to play sports or just run around in general. So, bumps and scraps were normal.
However, when the boy started complaining of knee pain, and it didn’t go away like every other time, Rayshawn started to worry.
Rush To The Hospital
He had expected the trip to the emergency room would end up with a tenser bandage or even a cast.
But when the doctor came in looking far more serious than before, his heart started to pound with fear. The diagnosis nearly made him pass out.
Little Ahkeem didn’t have knee pain. He had cancer.
But to make things worse, it was a rare from called Osteosarcoma. From there it was a downward spiral of devastation that would affect every facet of the family’s lives.
First, Rayshawn knew he was lucky to be able to work from home, but his wife had to take a leave of absence.
This wasn’t only to take care of their sick little boy, but her public contact would risk his compromised immune system. This meant they were down one income. The next problem was even harder.
Sending The Kids Away
He felt his heart break as he watched his 4 other kids leave with their duffle bags and suitcases to live with other family members during Akheem’s treatment.
Rayshawn held his wife as they cried on the sofa, trying to keep their tears as silent as possible so they didn’t wake their boy. Finally, came the hard day of shaving the little guy’s head before he had to deal with the trauma of it falling out.
Rayshawn felt like he would fall into a million bawling pieces as he watched his little boy look at the mirror with a mixture of medical exhaustion and sadness.
But he had to be strong for his boy. He had to show him he wasn’t going through this alone. So, on September 16th, Rayshawn set up his phone and started a live stream of his Facebook page.
Setting Up The Scene
“You know why we had to cut your hair?” he asked his son as he sat in front of him in a barber’s smock. “It’s because of the medicine to make you feel better. But it will grow back after, yeah?”
Ahkeem nodded his head, his tiny body already showing the tell-tale signs of chemotherapy fatigue. But instead of taking off the layer of already-short hair, Rayshawn turned the clippers to his long dreadlocks.
Always There For You
“Anything you go through, I’ll go through it with you,” he said.
One by one the impressively long dreads fell to the floor until Rayshawn was just as bald as his boy. His little guy was too tired and cloudy in the head to know what was going on, but after a few hours, it finally clicked.
One Smile, Worth It All
Rayshawn finally saw a tiny smile form. It was the first in weeks.
He pulled his strong, little man into his arms and they snapped a picture together. Ahkeem ran his hands over his dad’s head and giggled. Yes, dreadlocks could be someone’s identity, but when it came to family, it was just hair.