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".
UPDATED TO ADD:
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?
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!