Ok, I am going to venture (briefly) into a new territory for my blog. Race. For the most part, I don’t particularly think that race matters when it comes to being a Mother or trying to navigate through the parenthood. Kids don’t discriminate in their ability to wake up every 2 hours sending new parents in an equal state of hallucinations and happiness. Kids don’t play the race card when they don’t have anything to say to you all day until the moment your phone rings and then it is Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Kids and their experiences, especially when they are young, are all pretty similar, except for when it comes to swimming.
Now I will say that I grew up in a predominately white suburb of Boston and my parents placed a huge emphasis on the importance of being able to swim. My mom did not (and still does not) know how to swim, but my Dad is a great swimmer and both my parents enrolled my sister in and I swimming lessons and made sure that our summer camps taught instructional swim. Now that I am older and have kids, I am so thankful that they had the foresight to know how important knowing how to swim is. Dunking a ball, scoring a goal, getting a touch down and running a fast race are all accolades that kids can pat themselves on the back for but none of those accomplishments will ever save their lives. Knowing how to swim is really a matter of life and death, but unfortunately for many black kids this emphasis is not stressed at an early age and I can absolutely see why. Hair.
Hair you ask? Yes, hair. If you have any knowledge of black hair you may know that while it can be beyond gorgeous and very versatile, it can be very, very, very time consuming. A lot of black Moms that I speak to just do not want to have to deal with the hair aftermath of a few hours in chlorine, and I can’t say that I blame them. Despite, the hair, I have made it a priority that my kids will not only learn how to swim, they will love to swim and hopefully end up life guarding at a local pool to help pull their weight around here (it is all about a return on our investment!)
In the summer, the kids and I go to the pool everyday and long after I say good-bye to my pool friends (mostly people who are not black) I am in my house washing with a nourishing shampoo, deep conditioning, detangling, moisturizing, styling and then drying my two daughters hair. This whole process for both girls takes me close to two hours. Everyday, I spend 120 minutes doing my daughters hair so that they can go back in the pool the next day and we can repeat this process for the 73 days of summer (but whose counting.)
I am not telling you my kids summer hair routine so that I can get sympathy or be entered to win a year’s supply of Kinky Curly products (although Lord knows I would love that) I am telling you to shed a little insight on something you may not know about. My ah-ha moments often come when trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes and for the summer my shoes happen to be part hair stylist, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.