The Grass Is Always Greener…


My 4-year-old daughter is blessed with gorgeous curly blond hair.  You’ve probably seen pictures.  Women pay hundreds of dollars to imitate the color and texture of her hair.

I used to work against it, but lately I’ve been learning techniques to enhance her natural curl.  (If you have curly hair and fight against it, I highly recommend this book about how to embrace your curl and make the most of it.  I have been implementing some of the strategies with C.)

Well, typical to our human nature, C doesn’t want curly hair.  She wants straight hair.  And she begs me to straighten it almost every day.  I always tell her that God created her with beautiful blond curls because that is what He wants her to have.  Evidently she considers this more of a curse than a blessing. 

Now those of you with curly hair might agree with her.  But.  Speaking from the perspective of a child who grew up in the Decade of the Big Hair with the flattest, straightest hair on earth, I adore her hair. 

Isn’t that the way we all are?  The grass is always greener on the other side.  But seriously, if anyone has any helpful tips on how to teach a little girl to embrace herself the way God made her, they would be greatly appreciated.  Because I’m stumped.

So.  Yesterday morning, I washed her hair, combed it, and left it to dry naturally.  Then she sat on the side of the tub and watched me blow dry and style my hair with a flat iron.  (Yes, the irony of me, with the straight hair, using a flat iron is too much to comprehend.  It just works.  That’s all I know.)

Of course C wanted me to blow dry her hair.  "And use that iwon on my hay-uh."  (We’re still working on the r-sounds.) 

I told her no approximately a hundred and seventy-two times, explaining every time that her hair is so pretty when it’s curly and that the blow dryer and styling iron will damage her delicate blond locks. 

Finally I stopped what I was doing and took a good look at her forlorn expression.  I remembered how desperately I wanted long hair when I was a little girl.  And I thought, all I have to do is spend 10 minutes with the hair dryer and curling iron to fulfill her girlhood fantasy.

So I relented.

You have never SEEN a more excited child.  I blew it dry and worked with the iron until she had a smooth, silky cap of blond hair.  She stood still as a statue until I declared the work of art complete. 

Then she looked in the mirror in awe and delight, as a slow smile spread across her face, and she exclaimed, "It looks just like Why-Weee’s!"  (Riley is her little 5-year-old girlfriend next door with long, straight hair.) 

So she felt like Cinderella, and I felt like the Fairy Godmother, and we both lived happily ever after.  Well, that might be getting a bit carried away!

Later that morning, when I hollered upstairs to tell her it was time to leave for church, she came running down the stairs calling, "I’m coming!  With my straight hay-uh!"

To say that the child was preoccupied with her hair is the understatement of the year. 

We drove to church and got seated, and during the morning announcements I realized that C was sitting beside me, leaning forward with her head in her lap and her hair flipped over into her face.

I bent over and whispered in her ear, "What are you doing?"

"I’m trying to see my hair," she replied.

I stifled a smile.  Because while I’d love to say that I’ve outgrown the temptation to dwell on earthly matters while sitting in church, rather than worshiping God, I would have to admit that I often find myself guilty of the very same.

Yet I still have to be the mom, so I whispered back, "Well, let’s try to think more about God and less about your hair.  Okay?"

I wish I could remember her response.  It was classic.  But I can not, for the LIFE of me, remember what she said.  I just remember stifling more giggles and using every ounce of self-control not to pull out my Vera pocket papers and write it all down.  Which is what I would have done if I was anywhere besides church.

Later that day when we sat down to dinner, Husband asked if anyone wanted to pray.  C volunteered.  Now, when C prays, it’s always an exercise in self-control as I watch my food get cold while listening to her stumble and stutter and thank God for everything EXCEPT our food and His goodness to us. 

But last night, her prayer went like this:

"Dear God.  <pause>  Thank you for making everything.  <pause>  For your own glory.  <pause>  And that we can eat dinner.  <pause>  Amen."

And she didn’t even mention her "straight hay-uh".


We teach our children the Catechism For Young Children, which is where C got a snippet of her prayer.  The first three are as follows:

Q. 1. Who made you?

A. God.

Q. 2. What else did God make?

A. God made all things.

Q. 3. Why did God make you and all things ?

A. For his own glory.

This is a great resource if you are looking for a concise summary of Christian doctrine to teach your children.  Of course, it should never be substituted for Bible memory, but it is a great accompaniment!  Just thought I should add that tidbit of info for ya!

Join The Conversation

14 Responses

  1. I can only offer advice as a daughter, but I think my mom was pretty good at helping. Because there were OH so many things that I wished were different.

    First – I have brown eyes. I am always being complimented on my eyes, and yet, for the longest time, I WANTED GREEN EYES. You see, my brother is tall. My brother likes milk. My brother is right handed. And he got the green eyes. I felt cheated – I was the short, milk-hating, left-handed kid, and I should have gotten the green eyes to complete the “What doesn’t belong here puzzle?” (And no, I am not adopted.) He is the only person with green eyes in my family, as far back as we know. But then my mom told me (and kept telling me) that she prayed when she was pregnant with me for a little girl with big brown eyes, and God answered her prayer. Eventually, as an adult, I started to listen. 🙂

    All the other things I wanted different – my height, my weight, etc. – my parents never made negative comments about. They were always careful to compliment me, etc., and in fact, my mom still is (my dad isn’t much of a complimenter). So as much as I have my own issues about my appearance, I don’t have them compounded by my mother’s hounding.

    All that to say – I think you are right on. Just keep it up. It might take her 20 more years to get it, but just keep it up.

  2. This is a great post! I was touched by your little girl’s words. What a sweetie. I used to have really long straight blonde hair as a little one, then when I turned 5 my mum said, “No more tears from hair rats” and took me to get my Dorothy Hamill haircut. I cried something awful. You can bet your sweet bippy I played with a long flow-y skirt on my head (pretending it was my long hair) for a year.

  3. Wow, this gives me insight into what is coming next (and sooner than I’d expected) with the Bean. As I have mentioned, she has Justin Guarini’s hair a shade or two lighter. Seriously. I’ve known practically since she was born that the day would come when she would grow to strongly dislike her FANTASTIC, PERFECT, ENVY-INSPIRING tresses with the same passion I adore them. Sigh. Oh, and I love her prayer. ‘Your OWN Glory’ Zowwie! That just sounds LOVELY, doesn’t it?

  4. My 4-year-old also loves to have her hair blown dry on occasion. She has the straight hair for it though. Thankfully, it seems to be a thing between her & Grandma. Probably because she’s never seen me use a blow dryer!!

    C’s prayer was also great to read.

  5. What a charming post! And thanks for the tidbits about the Catechism!

    We named our eldest daughter, Riley. I love hearing other girls with the name! At the time, I didn’t realize that it was a BOY name too! Growing up with an ambiguous name, I kick myself for doing that to my daughter! LOL

  6. My Grammie tried to inspire her granddaughters to eat better by telling us that if we ate our bread crusts it would make our hair curly. But I had one cousin who already had a head full of curls so she never wanted to eat bread crusts again.

  7. I have been “blessed” with thick curly hair and understand perfectly the envy of long, straight hair. I was so excited when both of my kids got my hubby’s side of the family hair…nice and straight. My trick is that I very seldom where my hair down and when I do it is with lots of product in it. Good luck with it!

  8. I just love that you straightened her hair! I want to be like that- give in and have fun with it 🙂 And I’ve always had straight hair and I’m happy with it being straight 🙂

  9. I love it! I have naturally curly hair and can wear it both ways. LOVE MY CHI! But on days that I want to wash and go, I can. I didn’t appreciate that as a child, but now I know that I have the green grass. My daughter has naturally curly hair, too. I love her curls.

  10. Well, I think EVERYTHING this child does is absolutely adorable, so this story went straight to my heart. And, what a prayer! God Bless her!

  11. What a precious post – I can almost hear her talking about her hay-uh!

    I had stick staight and limp hair growing up – and did the perm thing during the big hair days! After my son was born, I cut my hair off REALLY short. When it grew back, it was curly!!! I was one very happy chick! When the daughter was born – 2 and a half years ago, it lost a little bit of the curl, but still enough to keep me happy. She has the precious ringlet curls, and I pray she will love them as much as I love them on her.
    And you know what? Now I’m wearing my hair straighter again…go figure.
    But I don’t flat iron it or anything – I just run my fingers through while drying it – it straightens it just enough, but still has enough body that it’s not flat on my head. I’m loving it right now – for the first time in YEARS!!!

Close this search box.