2 months ago I wrote a blog either here or on my personal blog (I cannot remember which) about my fears as a white mom and dealing with hair for my black daughter. This is an ongoing struggle. My child is beautiful and lovely….but her hair is very hard to maintain, and fix, and style. My child also struggles with lots of sensory issues so the smell of hair products, the pulling and tugging, the sitting, etc are all an exercise in misery for her. 2 months ago I took her to a hair salon in Sioux City for the first time to get her hair done. I was so worried that she would refuse to sit in the chair, that the salon owner would make me feel like a terrible and ill-equipped mother for not taking care of her hair……
Our experience there was amazing. The salon owner was kind and gentle and not judgemental at all. I saw many black women and a few children come in and out to buy products, ask for advice, schedule a hair appointment…..and we left that salon with confidence that all could be well in hair world as a mom and daughter team.
The hair style lasted 2 months! It was awesome! But it was time to re-schedule a new hair appointment and take the other hair out. I sent a distress message to the salon owner…..help! How do I take them out? She told me to search on you tube. She totally did. So. I did! I found out how to take crochet braids out of hair and watched the video a few times and yesterday when my daughter came home from school I sat her down, much to her dismay, and began the process of taking out the old hair. It took several hours and some fussing but we got it done. I had to reschedule our hair appointment several different times today due to other commitments that came up…..but eventually we got there, nerves and all.
Precious was nervous. I was nervous. The difference is that we were more familiar this time with a few less unknowns….so though we were apprehensive, we were not afraid. Pepe, the salon owner was there and ready for us. Precious climbed into the salon chair without any trouble and the hair styling began. Pepe’s 2 year old son was running around the salon causing trouble so I did some magic with Twizzlers and got him to sit by me and snuggle awhile. Later her sister came in and we began to chat about public health, her pursuit of a PH D in Public Health and the need for more work on infant mortality rates and longevity in breastfeeding world wide to meet World Health Organization goals and those of Healthy People 2020……and I maybe made a friend……and she shook my hand and said she was glad she stopped in and that I was there today.
Fear is just fear. Fear is feeling fragile. Fear is lack of the felt Presence of God in any particular moment. Fear made me feel that I would be condemned and made unworthy for skills I did not have. God led me to capable and worthy hands that could beautify my child’s head and affirm me as a human being in this world. We all matter so much more than our fears decide.
If fear is keeping you in shackles today, take heart. Commit that fear to God. He will shine a light on the way out. It may cost you something. It costs me a “pretty penny” every 2 months…..but what I am gaining in return is beyond monetary value. Fear is real and deserves a moment of respect. One moment…..the one that precedes what comes next to move on. Name fear so it can be “tamed” a bit and then move on to whatever path God sets before you……it is guaranteed to be way more interesting than sitting in the corner feeling scared.