As a mom of two daughters I am all too familiar with this little defiant pose!
This past weekend me and my 6 year old had a strong conversation all while she was standing just like this about WHY she wasn’t going to wear her swim cap in the pool. She was adamant that she would be the ONLY little girl with an ugly cap on and she didn’t understand why she couldn’t just let her hair get wet and flow in the water like “the little mermaid”!?
Let me paint the scene a bit more—she was invited to her BFF’s birthday party one who lives very deeply in the suburbs. With this the guest list included a majority of little girls who where Caucasian, Asian, Indian or Mixed Race. Each year she attends and she is normally one of the few dare I say only African American little girls in attendance. So anyway she had been making such a big deal about the swim cap all of a sudden and I didn’t immediately pick up the why. She is in year around swim school so is accustomed to wearing it anytime she gets in the pool. Even when we go to our neighborhood pool as a family she wears it without any attitude. But at this point didn’t register as to why all of sudden this was a problem with little missy…All I knew was that the hair was pressed, washed, and tamed for the week and that getting any sort of water on it would be a total disaster for the school week to come!
So me and Miss Addy went back and forth until finally I just said “You are wearing the swim cap and that’s that”. So we arrive at the party and just like the years before my baby was the lonesome chocolate cutie. AND of course she was the ONLY child there with a swim cap on (side-eye). It then dawned on me—This setting is unlike the others because here she is the ONLY brown girl. Before I could retract my thoughts Here comes Mr. Super dad to the rescue…He whispers to me, “just let her take it off so she can be a little more comfortable.” If looks could injure he would have limped back to the car! HA! So I allowed my little kinky curly haired diva to let those curls flow in the pool!
Yes I gave in to help my baby feel a little better about her differences and you know what that was a very hard pill to swallow. On one hand I never want my daughters to feel inadequate to other children based off of their genetic make up BUT on the other hand I never want them to feel like they have to be like others in order to feel good about themselves either. As a brown momma I constantly battle the what I FEEL I need to do vs. what is BEST suited in my children’s little bubble of a world. Realizing that pushing my personal perspectives could taint their view of the world they see in a pure/innocent way. Ultimately I am accepting (daily struggle) that they have to learn HOW to comfortably exist in it. YESSS I am learning very slowly to just RELAX and Let Them Explore!