Tuesday, January 4, 2011

If I can say "Yes", then I will

That is how I parent. I love being a mom that doesn't sweat the small stuff, and in turn my son loves being a child that is free to develop in an environment where he is loved and cared for and can have a boundless imagination. There has been many times where I am about to say "NO, you cannot wear that costume out to dinner". Then the little voice in my head asks me "Why can't he? who is he hurting? why are you squashing his fun?" Whenever that little voice pops up, I tend to stop, listen and then act. A few months ago, we were invited to a dress-up dinner with some friends, he dressed up as Iron Man and I wore my best black cocktail dress..... he got the high fives and "ohhhs" and "ahhhs", such a smart lad! Why am I sharing this? Because my son is the proud wearer of "dreadies" or better know as dreadlocked hair and it was me who made it possible.
Life is Good!

He has been growing his hair out since before the summer because he told me he wanted dreads like his friend Zion (who is mulato, has beautiful long dreadies, and is in grade 3) who is 2 years older than him. So we stopped going for haircuts every 8 weeks, and I trimmed his bangs just enough to keep his eyes from being poked. At first I thought he might change his mind, but he kept checking how long his hair was and weather it was long enough yet. A few weeks before Christmas break, I started researching the cost etc, and decided to buy a kit for us to do it ourselves, the cost was too much at a hairstylist. The kit arrived the day before the break started so we decided that he would have his picture with Santa before the dreadies, as per his Dad's request.
This is a few hours before....

The process took close to 12 hours, with a few breaks in between...it hurts just a little bit, all the teasing, rolling, pinching, elastics, etc!! Anyhow, once we were done, he was beaming with pride.
Later that day!

I know that a lot of parents would be dead set against such a drastic hairstyle for their child (specially one with fine, straight hair) because of the look, the stigma that comes with dreadheads. I however, have seen it as a lesson, not for him though, for myself. As a parent, I would rather have him go through the experience of having "dreadies" now, than when he's 16 and let's say, trying to land a job.
Right now, I can still help him keep the hair neat and free of lint, we wash it every 2-3 days, so it's always clean (contrary to popular belief, hair has to be clean to stay locked, dirty greasy hair unlocks on straight hair) and keep it crocheted well so they will always look great! It is a lot of work for me, but it has taught me to be patient with him. There are days when I feel like a probst monkey, picking bugs...but it's worth it. He looks and feels great, he loves his dreadies!
Two weeks so far, looking good!

So I did sweat it physically, and my elbows hurt the next day, but why say no to such a interesting request? Even his Dad didn't see why not. In the end, his self esteem is intact and we have expanded our view on the world (through all my research on dreadlocks) just a little bit more.
There will be worse things I will have to deny him, but this is just not one of them.

Well, Happy New Year



Christine H. said...

I am generally not a big fan of dreadlocks, but darn if that isn't the cutest thing I've ever seen. And I give you a high five for allowing your son the freedom to do it. Childhood is all about exploration.

Dayhomemama said...

Thanks Christine, I think in the big picture this is one of those times when I know we did the right things for him, we are loving how cute he looks and he loves having them!


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