So, you know that I have been considering straightening my hair. You guys gave me lots of much needed encouragement and so I called my hairdresser and said, “Alright, I am thinking about it. What do you have available before you move?” Well, it turns out that what she had available was an appointment the day before I fly to a college to speak which is all well and good EXCEPT that you can’t wash your hair for three days after you get it straightened while the goop coats your hair and changes it’s shape. And so I was conflicted about getting on a plane and flying somewhere to give a talk with goop that I had no way of knowing what it would look or smell like in my hair. And so I tentatively said yes and hung up the phone.
Except then I woke up the next day, didn’t really do my hair like I don’t really do it any day, and it was the cutest damn curls I’ve seen this side of 2007. For realz (and wouldn’t you know that I had no wear to go exciting that day?). And so I balked about getting my hair straightened on the day before I travel to another state to give a talk. Because knowing what my hair looks like when I travel feels much more comfortable to me than the unknown- ie. what if the goop smells weird or something and I make people pass out while I am signing books. I could not live with that.
So I texted my hairdreser and told her I was too much of a wuss to do it the day before traveling. We’d have to figure something else out. And then, in the interim, I started thinking about how what Happy and I have in common, physically, is our curls. And one day– not yet– he’s going to look around and see that his big people don’t look completely like him. And I am going to hoist him to a mirror and say, “What do you see buddy?” And when he says ‘brown eyes’, I think I want there to be more that he can add to the list– not because I want to confuse him, but because I know the relief of just sharing one thing in common with someone else like curls or black hair or tan skin. Now, granted, this conversation with baby isn’t happening any time soon but still I am thinking about this and wondering and considering and searching. Every day, we work on Baby’s hair like it’s our job (well, it is our job). It’s natural, it’s beautiful, and we know how to do it after much trial and error. It’s interesting to me that I am willing to put the time and trial and error into his hair, but not mine. It’s also illuminating to me that, as a mother, there may be value in keeping my curls. Maybe the answer is to straighten it now while my time is so compressed and then let it revert to curly when he’s a bit older and I acutally have time to do something with it (and he’s at the age where he notices these things). Maybe it’s some other variation. I simply know that in considering what was initially a simple question of should I or shouldn’t I, the question has become more complex. I know that is the whole nature of parenting, though, and I am intrigued about where I’ll end up.