Wednesday, August 13, 2008

under the umbrella

As a mom there are umbrellas that we live under, whether (weather, how punny) we live beneath them intentionally or not is not what I want to blog about. Let's just say that we do. Or rather, I do. And to throw having my little diverse family under that umbrella just adds to what I'm talking about.
Umbrella is a term that I am using to describe expectations that I try REALLY hard to live up to because I assume that 1) someone cares more than I do about my family. 2) my children reflect my parenting, therefor my work, therefor myself. Kinda like 6 walking report cards. 3) I want to please man?? I don't know. Just go with me on this one.

Today I'm just going to talk about the hair umbrella. I live under the white-mom umbrella in which I feel like I have to disprove to every person on the planet. Women especially (men don't seem to notice these things). Let's look at the girls' hair:

I tried to get this photo bigger to no avail.
Now Miss B is the two heads on the left and Miss F is on the right, this picture was taken directly after I typed the word hair. I spent about 2 1/2 hours on Miss B's hair and about an 1 1 /2 on Miss F's (she can't have beads in cause of soccer).
Why on earth would someone do that?
I blame it on the umbrella.
I feel like I have to disprove the notion that white women don't care about black hair *while* proving to white women that it is possible to learn how to cornrow, for goodness sake. I do the girls' hair about every two weeks; this is more than necessary but I don't want those fuzzies to aid in anyone's suspicion that people shouldn't adopt outside of their race.
I learn every new style, I eye all the unsuspecting children who walk past me to see what their sporting, I spend an equal amount of time planning to do hair than I do actually platting.
Think I'm overreacting?
People (ahem, women) stop me in grocery stores, at church, in public restrooms, the park, at the mall. You name it, they've probably stopped me there. They stop me and ask me about the girls' hair and "who did it." This question is always asked with suspicion and it either follows or precedes questions about whether or not they're "my" children (don't get me started on that one). Upon learning that, yes, I did their hair, there is a guaranteed moment of shock quickly followed by a cover up. I hate those moments, and yet I live for those moments. Those moments are why I spend so much time on hair. Those moments prove that umbrella wrong but also prove that I willingly live under it.
Stupid umbrella.

P.S. I hardly ever give Prissy's hair a second thought.


Chantel said...

amen. i totally know the feeling. TOTALLY. i feel like because i'm a mom (a young mom) that i have 135465464941654654 more reasons to prove that i am worthy of this mom-nation. it's so irritating. but yet, i live under the umbrella.

Chantel said...

ooooop, i forgot-

ISABELLE SAYS HI!!!!!! and that zu has gotten tall and that she love her.

Erin said...'ll get 'cha every time...*ahem* I can't relate at all :o) I have a neighbor who does Mary's hair as a ministry and it is...but I wish I had the time to invest in doing her hair for all the same reasons you stated...why can't I just THANK GOD and move on...PRIDE!! (it's an ugly trap)

Take care,
Erin in FL

Anonymous said...

I'm judging you right now shallow! How pathetic....."you are not your kids' hair, you are not their skin, you are not some person's expectations........." Wow, I am SO glad I don't struggle with all that vanity and I never think twice about my daughters' hair....

Love, Jenny

Anonymous said...

Yo, raquel....deep thoughts with some coffee!
Here's the answer, you adopt big ole' kids. Then people think that you are just babysitiing, so you could NOT have done the hair. 9 times out of 10 people just think that I am after school care. Kinda rocks!
And for the record, you do a fabulous job with the girls. Seriously, its like art work to see Miss B and Miss F sometimes.But I will second Jenny, its kinda sad that you have issues with vanity. I have NO problems with that, so if you need help just let me know....:)

Erica said...

Thanks for clarifying for me why I spend so much time on Korpo's hair! I am terrified of a confrontation with a big African lady...I know it's coming one day, so I feel I have to be prepared...thus, hours upon hours on...HAIR!
PS: I always get the word verification wrong the first time!!!

Anonymous said...

You know that I love your honesty...fwiw, I know many moms of color that can't do their daughters hair. :)

I am sure your girls appreciate your love and all of your efforts, keep your head up.

Heath said...

Hi! I don't know if you'll get a comment I add in 2010, but I happened upon your blog because I googled "jeans,mending". I got hooked and read for a bit. This post made me laugh, and I hope you will chuckle a little at my secret... to be revealed here for the first time... I adopted a boy, and one of the reasons was the hair! I used to be a child care worker and didn't want to deal with one more person telling me I got the kids' hair wrong! I buzz my dude's hair on the "1" setting and he's GORGEOUS! Probably as gorgeous as your boys. Thanks for being here!