|Sweet Little One, you are beautiful, but you are getting too big too fast!!!!!|
Saturday, May 5, 2012
You Are Beautiful! -
All hair is not created equal. Seriously. I really had no idea how different hair can be! I remember when I first found out The Little One would be joining our lives and one of my African-American co-workers replied “I hope she has good hair!” I laughed and said something along the lines of “I’m sure she will!” I didn’t really understand what it meant to have “good hair” or “bad hair” except in terms of my “good hair days” when my hair cooperated and stayed how I wanted it or “bad hair days” when it frizzed to high Heaven and then clung limply to my face! But how can hair be inherently good or bad? Here’s my version of a culture lesson to all my fellow fair-skinned people. (This is a huge generalization, so forgive me for that!) African-American hair is DRY by nature. It is coarse and it is curly. It doesn’t grow out, it typically grows around and around.
I came across this chart of hair types and these types are referred to all the time on discussion boards I’m part of. You’ll see someone say “my daughter has 4a hair and I’m trying to figure out how to…” Well that’s something I was not used to seeing! But it’s just another example of how God made us all so different! Whether you have type 1 hair or 4c hair, you are a child of God.
Maybe I’m a little biased here, but my daughter is beautiful. She is and I can’t take any credit for her external beauty. But I plan to instill the values of internal beauty to her as well and well, I’ll take a little credit when that happens! :) For now, she has a beauty that melts my heart. However, with that beauty comes her hair. Don’t get me wrong, I love her pretty little curls and someday I will feel confident in fixing those curls. For now, I have a go-to website called Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care! Catchy name, huh? But it was created by a woman just like me raising an African-American child. Did you know that there were butters for your hair? Milk for your hair? Or that olive oil and coconut oil make the best moisturizers? Yeah, me either! The first time I put olive oil in TLO’s hair she smelled like she was ready to be put in a frying pan! I’ve gotten a little better since then and now she just smells lightly basted! :) I only put that on at night and during the day we use the fruity, tropical smelling moisturizing cream so you just can’t but want to smooch on her!
Here’s part 2 of my version of your culture lesson: all those little braids and twists and styles you see on the beautiful black children, those are done out of necessity, not just for fun. If the hair is not braided, twisted or otherwise controlled it will dry out even more, tangle and break. Broken hair means short hair and short hair is just not the goal (the ‘why’ behind that will have to come in another cultural lesson!) So hair needs to be put in protective styles in order to grow. Sometimes those protective styles come in the form of cornrows, sometimes in other braids, twists or puffs (think little pony tails with poofy hair). A couple of weeks ago I moved out of my comfort zone of just keeping TLO’s hair moisturized and detangled, putting a bow or headband in it and calling it done. I moved on to finger coils!
Don’t get me wrong, it was cute, but it only lasted 1 day. Now part of my goal in doing TLO’s hair now is also to get her used to sitting *mostly* still while she gets her hair done because this will be part of our routine for years to come. But there was no way I could ask her to do that every day while I re-did her little coils. So I would do them on the go – literally, she was playing on the floor and I’m sitting over her with our hair milk trying to twist that little section of hair before she rolled over! (good thing we don’t have video of that!) We repeated this fiasco for a week. (At this point I became very jealous and bitter of my friends with their little fair-skinned babies who only require a headband with a flower or bow! Dont worry, I'm past that now! Love you guys!) Then I was told try doing it while she was asleep. Yeah right, no way that will work! Wrong. 2 days ago I twisted the whole front half of her hair into little fake cornrows while she slept!
I did it complete with little elastic bands! This helped it stay in place and looked so cute when we went to the botanic garden to take her 6 month pictures!
I will someday soon learn to do more exciting hairstyles for her, but for now I'll take pride in the small steps I’ve made. And I continue to teach TLO how beautiful she is inside and out. For now she sits on the counter looking into the mirror and I tell her she is beautiful, she is blessing in my life and she is my child. You see, we may put a numbering system on hair types and call one “good” and one “bad” but God doesn’t do that. No, my Father stands behind me as I look into a mirror and tells me I am beautiful. He tells me I am created in His image and therefore there is nothing wrong with me. He tells me I am His child.
Father, thank you for creating each one of us to be uniquely created in Your image. Thank You for the beautiful children you have created in every color with every hair type. I ask you Lord to help me as I try to raise my sweet child with an understanding of her outer beauty and respecting the ways she may look different from others around her, while placing true value on her inner beauty and recognizing that her value comes from You. And selfishly Lord, I have to ask…please help my fumbling fingers learn to move in the ways the need to in order to braid, twist and fix her hair in the many ways she will want it done in the years to come! Thank You! Amen.