Introducing our new transracial family blogger
Welcome to my blog! I hope you will stop by often and regularly to follow the amusing drama of one white lady combing the hair of three little girls on a regular basis. I am the lucky mother of a trio of brown beauties, each of whom has her own special character and curl. Learning to comb hair is the parenting skill I am most proud of because it wasn’t easy to learn. As a matter of fact, I would love to find a way to incorporate it into my resume!
I relied on the kindness of both strangers and friends alike to learn the artful skill of caring for my children’s hair. It didn’t come easily and took a tremendous amount of practice, but it was worth every minute. I love it when black mothers ask me, “Who did her hair?” and I can honestly answer, “I did!” These are shining moments for any transracial family. I have a creative freedom in styling my children’s hair that I find thrilling. I often tell my girls, “Look at Mommy’s hair. This is all I can ever do with it, but I can do a million different things with your hair.”
My hair story began in 2003 when I became a mother for the first time. I was sitting behind my desk in the office where I worked as a travel agent when I received the call our baby was on her way. My partner and I had recently completed the lengthy process of becoming foster parents in hopes of adopting a child. When the call came and I was told, almost as an afterthought, that the baby was black, my immediate thought was “What will I do with her hair?” Fortunately, she was only 6 months old and had very little hair. Hair is huge when you talk about black hair! I had a lot to learn.
I have parented a dozen children over the years as a foster parent and am now the forever mother to Madison, McKenzie, and Morgan. What I have learned about raising children of a different race could fill the state of Texas. It would have been great to have another mom or a girlfriend share some secrets with me about what works and what doesn’t, but I didn’t have that luxury. Instead, I made my fair share of mistakes, talked to almost anyone who could teach me something, and read every book I could find on black hair and culture. This is the reason I wrote the book "Brown Babies Pink Parents"— to help other families like mine. (The book will be published in August; look for more information in this blog soon.)
So here I am with you, sharing the stories of my family and answering any questions I can. I am not a professional hair stylist and I don’t claim to be any kind of expert. I am simply a mother in the trenches of parenthood. On a weekly basis, I create an assembly line of hair in my living room where I comb, oil, and style hair that has been washed and conditioned by my partner, Kim. Sometimes “Salon de Mommy” is like trying to choreograph cats. At other times, you would swear my living room was a scene out of "Beauty Shop." There is usually popcorn involved, possibly a Disney movie, and countless pony tails, puff balls and twists.
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share some thoughts with you. I hope I can make you laugh, give you some new ideas, pass on some lessons, and maybe even open an eye or two. More importantly, I hope to remind every reader they are not alone in whatever hair scenario you call your own.