The Purple Wig

Photo Credit: Steve Browne & John Verkle


“What does Mom have on her head?” my daughter shrieked.

I turned to look at my children, flipped my purple locks over my shoulder, and continued on to the laundry room as if nothing were amiss. Peals of laughter followed, and my kids scrambled after me, begging to try on the wig themselves. Even more surprising about this little scene? My husband had left days earlier for a 6-month deployment. But for a few precious moments, laughter helped us forget the worry and anxiety.

The previous week, we’d all moped around with that empty feeling that family members of the recently deployed know all too well. It didn’t seem as if we could give ourselves permission to think about anything but their Dad and what was going on “over there.” The months ahead without him stretched out endlessly.

I wasn’t sure how to get us out of this funk, and thought and prayed about what to do. One evening, while driving my children to an activity, I passed a party store. An idea began to form, and I made time to get back to that store alone. I bought cheap wigs, funny glasses, and even a big nose and mustache. I hid my stash when we got home and could not wait to ambush my kids.

The next day, with a purple foil wig atop my head, I nonchalantly strolled through the living room while toting a laundry basket (as usual). My children, sprawled on the floor watching TV, didn’t react. The funniest part? I had to make three passes through the room before anyone noticed!

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