More Than Follicles

Sometimes I worry that Violet will read this blog later and wonder why so many of my posts were about her hair, and the styles we create together.  But then I realize it's a ridiculous question - she will know why.   

It is more than hair.  

It is teamwork.  It is bonding.  It is collaboration.  It is our celebration of the feminine.  It is nurturing.  It is a dance.  It is a beautiful rhythm.  

It is love.

The care of Violet's hair is the care of all of her.  It is a unique outlet into which I can pour my love and devotion - the research, the education, the preparation, the creativity - all things I can lavish on my lady love.  And she soaks it up, relishing each "hair day" for more than her snacks and televisions.  

There develops a unique give and take between us as we fall into our silent (and sometimes not so silent) styling rhythm.  Her head, and my hands, swaying together, moving in unison.  

How often do parents get to spend that many hours in constant physical contact with their kids?  

Doing Violet's hair is a privilege that I don't take lightly.  I delight in finding new styles to showcase her beautiful little self, and my insides do cartwheels as she basks in the compliments of people of all races and ages.  We were warned from the start of our adoption process that we'd "have" to learn to do her hair... but I never expected to find so much connection and satisfaction in it.  

Not to overstate things, but in a lot of ways, her identity is tied up in those beautiful curls.  Her pride in her race, her ethnicity, her gender, and her adoptive history.  Our conversations about her hair are laying a foundation for deeper conversations that may not be as easy.  And if I can raise a daughter who is confident in what God gave her on TOP of her head, odds are, I will have raised a daughter who is confident in what God gave her INSIDE her head, too. 

I don't know another way to say it:  It's just so, so much more than hair.    


Kish said...

This is so beautiful (just like Violet!), and I see it simply as a mother writing about her love and devotion for her child.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful! Your words of love concerning your daughter are very touching. Thank you for sharing these pieces of your story. What God does in and through the lives of His people is amazing!

Kia said...

I found your sight through Beads Braids and Beond. What you wrote was beautiful. Violet is blessed indeed to have such a thoughtful Momma. I have two girls, 6 and 3, and I stopped perming my hair in preparation for their inevitable questions about straight hair and the idea of beauty. It's hair day today. And with two African American girls with almost waist length hair bushy curls I don't always approach hair with such love and devotion. Sometimes it just feels like a alot of hard work. Today I will think of you and Violet as I style. Thank you.

Sbell said...

I just want to say that this post may have just completely shifted my paradigm when it comes to doing my daughters' (5 and 20mos) hair. "Thank you" is not enough.