Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hair....It Continues to Amaze Me...........

One thing that I’m still getting used to even after 16 years of having a mixed race daughter is this whole "hair thing." The other day I went into Tatiana's bathroom and hanging everywhere were rows of HAIR! She had washed her weave and it was hanging off the towel racks, shower curtain, and counter. It looked like long black creatures had taken over everything in sight. At first when I walked into the bathroom I was a little freaked out, but then I looked around and literally laughed out loud!

Each time I write about hair, and there have been many, it seems Tatiana is at a different stage in her life. First, as a little girl, it was combing through, braiding, and filling her thick, curly hair with barrettes. Then, as a pre-teen, it was adding extensions, and having them braided for hours at a time. Now, as a teen, it’s long, straight extensions, after her bi-monthly trips to the salon. I don't know why this blows me away so much because as a white woman, I go through the same type of craziness every month when I get my hair cut, colored and highlighted. What's the difference? The difference is I don't have someone else's hair attached to my head and hanging throughout the house! =) Trippy!

The other night we were all getting ready for bed and Jamie looked down and thought our little black poodle was lying really still on the floor, when in actuality it was Tat's weave! We had all been watching a movie together and she had taken it out piece by piece, and eventually it ended up in a nice, neat pile on the floor looking exactly like our dog. Hilarious! It just cracks me up that this black fluff ball on the floor looked more like our tiny toy poodle then my child’s hair!

Because I always want to know as much as I can about what my child goes through, I recently sat down to watch Good Hair. Good Hair is the documentary hosted by Chris Rock that follows where the hair extensions come from and how they eventually get to the heads of black women all over America. I haven’t watched the whole thing yet because once I started watching I asked Tat if she had seen it, and she said no. I want to sit and watch it with her so she can see the history behind what is attached to her head. It just fascinates me that there is a documentary about this! I’m sure the black women that are reading this are cracking up at me because this is just part of how you were raised and who you are, but for me it’s a totally new adventure.

Whenever we go to buy Tat’s hair we have to go to the “hood” because of course you can’t by “her hair” in the suburbs where we live. Even though our neighborhood is quite the melting pot, we still don’t have a beauty supply place that caters to the African American crowd. What’s up with that!? Hmmm, maybe I should open one....would that be weird? I’m always the only white person at the beauty supply where she shops so why not be the only one in our area that owns one!? It’s a thought. =)

As Tatiana hits each of the different life stages, I continue to learn something new. I love it, and wouldn’t change a thing. So even today, after 16 long years, her hair continues to amaze me and probably always will!

You can check out some of my other hair stories from at the links below:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Didn't Know You Were Adopted....

You probably thought this story was about me after reading the title didn't you?  Guess again. This one would be about Tatiana and the assumptions that are made when strangers see us together. This time the scenario went like this.....Tatiana drove to school, pulled into the parking lot, we both got out of the car, said goodbye, I hopped into the drivers seat, and drove away.  Someone who obviously doesn't know her very well came up to her and said, "I didn't know you were adopted." Tatiana said, "Um, I'm not." The guy just looked at her like she didn't know what SHE was talking about and said, "Oh."

This isn't the first time I have written about this, nor I'm sure, will it be the last. However, normally when "confusion" arises as to who "I" am, the comment is, "I didn't know your Mom was white," not, "I didn't know you were adopted." This makes me giggle and frustrates me all at the same time. When you carry someone for 9 months, have 20+ hours of labor and raise them for 16 years, you tend to want to shout...."Ya she is my daughter!!"

Now for those of you that know me well, or have been reading my stories for a while, you know that I am an adopted child myself. So why does the comment this boy made to my daughter irritate me? I love my Mom with all my heart so I don't know why it "bugs" me to hear someone ask if my child is adopted. Is it all the hard work I put into the pregnancy and labor? With all the grief I gave my Mom during my teen years she deserves an award for "that" work! Not even 9 months of pregnancy and 20+ hours of labor compare to the grief I caused my Mom during those years. We will leave it at that for now. That's another story for another time! =)

You would think I would be used to these "mom" questions by now, but I'm not. My kid is my kid. Period. I'm very proud and protective of my family so when someone tries to change the reality, I get a little "buggy."

The funny thing is, nobody ever questions Jamie and Tatiana when they are out and about. What's up with that!? She is a mix of the two of us in looks and color, so why don't they question him? is it because he is big, and black, and scary, and they don't dare!? Or is it simply because she is brown and so is he, so there is no question? Hmmph...I'm still bugged.

I wonder if that's why I'm so passionate about writing for my blog and The Next Family? I love my family so much and when anything about them is questioned, I tend to go a little "mama bear," if you know what I mean!

So just to clarify; No, she's not adopted. Yes, I am white. Yes, her Dad is black. All clear? Good. I feel better now.  On to the next question.