...and the hair will follow.
We recently had a really hot day, and as I was helping my four year old tie her scarf to her head I stopped myself. We were both sweaty though she'd just had her bath. What was I doing?
"Are you done Mommy?"
"You don't have to wear your scarf tonight," I decided and leaned over to give her a kiss and a squeeze.
I encourage my girls to tie their heads at night to prevent their sheets from drying out their hair, and to help preserve what moisture I worked hard to put in. I try to make sure they keep their heads covered year round no matter the weather, but on this particular hot night my actions felt ridiculous. My baby was hot. We release much of our body heat from our heads, yet I was covering hers, to preserve her hair---but what about my baby?
Mocha Girl Three's hair is important to me, but she's more important than her hair. I know there have been many times in my life I denied myself pleasure, to preserve a hair style. For example, I can remember wasting half of a school trip to Six Flags, watching my friends go on the water rides while fretting over my press and curl. Thank God my best friend declared she'd rather deal with her nappy hair than miss all the fun. My hair was tightly shrunken when we left the park, but I had a goofy grin on my face, and a heart full of warm memories.
I want my girls to take good care of their hair. I like to make a style last as long as possible, because my time is limited, and I have so many heads to do. Yet I'm prepared to break all my nappy rules if my girls aren't enjoying their lives. My daughter came into the kitchen the other day and stood at the window watching her sisters squeal as they ran through the sprinklers.
"Aren't you going out there?" I asked.
"No," She muttered.
Something in her voice made me stop what I was doing and give her my complete attention. I stared intently into her eyes.
"I don't want my hair to shrink."
Suddenly, I was that little girl at Six Flags all over again. I wasn't remembering the experience, but I completely understood where my daughter was. Strong emotion stirred my heart.
"Get yourself out there," I said, while placing a hand on each of her shoulders and moving her towards the sliding doors. "So what if your hair shrinks? Who cares?"
My daughter looked uncertain as she turned back to face me. She hesitated another moment before her face broke into a smile. She rushed through the door with a squeal. I released a slow breath, and smiled.
I'm not saying we never do what's uncomfortable, but I pray for wisdom. I want my daughters to have a healthy relationship with their hair. It shouldn't be something that stresses them out. I don't want them to believe they have to suffer to be beautiful. In all things balance is important, and nappy hair care is no different.