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.