Parenting

Daughter Gets Set on Fire at Camp After Mom Says She Can’t Have Pink Hair—1 Yr Later, Mom Learns a Lesson She’ll Never Forget

“Life is short.”

“Make every moment count.”

“They grow up way too fast.”

We’ve all heard those motivational-poster-worthy phrases said a million times over. But when it actually comes right down to it, we’re kind of awful at putting them into practice. Somehow, James Dean’s “Live as if you’ll die today” looks a whole lot better plastered on a Facebook cover photo than it does implemented in the nitty-gritty details of everyday life—especially when it comes to parenthood.

With kids making incessant requests for everything from macaroni & cheese and sleepovers to the latest iPhone and rainbow-streaked hair, it can be pretty challenging to cherish the little moments in life while simultaneously attempting to not raise little brats who get everything that they want. All too often, just saying “no” seems like the sensible solution.

And besides, WHO wants to get mom-shamed for having the only kid walking around looking like Lisa Frank vomited something reminiscent of a unicorn on their head??

Rachel Ann Carpenter is one mother who knows that struggle all too well.

Last year, when her daughter asked for pink hair, she was NOT about to succumb to the whims of a middle-school phase that would certainly pass—thus sparing Rachel the hair-appointment hassle along with the humiliation.


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But admittedly, Rachel learned the hard way that life is “way too short to say NO all of the time.”

In a viral Facebook post, she shared the pivotal turning point that changed her mind on her favorite two-letter word in a way that is now making waves across the Internet:

“Life is way to short to say NO all of the time. This time last year she asked me if she could have pink hair and I said no. A few days later at a camp they were doing a demonstration involving fire and something went wrong and it caught her on fire. She had horrible burns over 70% of her body. This time last year we were in the hospital with her not knowing if she was going to live or not. So this time when she asked me if she could have pink hair, I said yes.”


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“That experience taught me you never know how much time you have left, with anyone. So say yes more often, and don’t care if anyone thinks your child with pink hair is ridiculous !! (within reason lol)”

Rachel’s words of maternal wisdom have struck a chord with mothers everywhere who have lived in her shoes.

And some are even joining her in wild-hair-colored solidarity.

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“My daughter’s birthday present from me,” wrote commenter Jessica Tracey, alongside a photo of her daughter’s freshly-dyed purple mane. “If a wild hair color is our biggest problem then we are doing something right. Good job!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Kudos to these mamas for stepping outside of their comfort zones into the rainbowed wild side. The colors you bring to motherhood surely shine bright. 💜 💙 💕

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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