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Children Learn What They See
I recognize that as a mother, I am my girl’s (CocoViv as I refer to them as one unit) role model. The one person they will emulate throughout their life. I know that when I do and say fucked up shit in front of my girls, I falter. Lucky for me (and them) ‘do better’ is one of my MavenMomma Mantras. So, when my daughters started to ask for their hair straightened, I had to be real with them and myself.
Lessons Learned and Taught
As such, one area of open discussion with my girls is my regret in not loving and nurturing my natural hair. I started dying, rinsing, relaxing, and weaving very early…14 I think. Now, CocoViv sees and we openly discuss the ramifications of my blonde phase and the subsequent hay-like feel despite constant conditioning. In response, my babies laugh and shake their heads, “Oh mommy, when will you learn?” “As long as y’all learning,” I clap back during their laugh attacks. Sometimes, I show them the now thinning crown in my scalp, the result of over processing my hair for years.
On most Sunday evenings, you will find CocoViv and I performing our Sunday ritual. Well, me doing and the girls partaking. I do all three heads of our hair; comb out, co-wash, deep condition, detangle, leave-in, braid or twist with coconut oil. It is during this beauty ritual that I (while styling my hair) sometimes tell them stories of hot combs, and carefree curls. I might treat them to photos of my french rolls, my one blond streak in my jet black hair, the stacked crunchy bob, or those freeze curls (gag) and on and on. These sessions typically end (after some tender-headed tears – from all of us) with all three sporting our shampoo twist or braids and with me telling them that now that momma knows better I do better, for them and myself.
Nourishing Their Hair and Their Esteem
In addition to caring for those precious locks, I also nourish their attitudes about their hair. I make sure to say to my girls at every opportunity how gorgeous their hair is, in its natural state. Also, (sounding like my granny) I have warned them that relaxers are never an option while they are in my house. Momma might clip in a ponytail or wear wigs as desired, but they can’t. Unless it is Halloween, then game on girlies.
Presently, I am still not sure how I feel about them wearing weaves at some point, but it is a choice they will have to make once they are adults. For now, in addition to their natural curls, braids, and twist they rock the occasional blowout, and I tell them, “your hairstyle is a look, not your identity. However you wear it, make sure your hair is healthy and looks good.”
I can only hope that now, by being honest about my mistakes, my girls will learn from them with hair and most other things.