I've been having a hard time dealing with my hair loss recently. I used to have beautiful freeform locs down my back, grown for more then a decade of my life, and I loved them. Unfortunately, a serious case of head lice ran through our home last year, necessitating a big chop. My hair has grown quite a bit since then, but it's still very short -- especially when compared with my former crown. Usually, I can throw on a coordinating scarf and be fine, but some days it's harder. (One doesn't really "throw on" a headscarf.)
Today, I took a good look at Charlotte and realized she's got it right. Her hair was also long and loc'ed when we chopped it, and she often talks about her nice hair that she misses. She rarely dwells on it though.
I grew up with my hair always done. That usually meant a home relaxer but also other styles -- such as hours upon hours sitting under the hands of a braider. I do braid Char's hair, often with purple and/or hot pink yarn weaved in. It's fun and a simple way to keep things neat day to day, and she likes it. More and more recently she's been taking over her own daily hair care, in particular arranging her hair as she wishes. Using just water, it's been her routine to get her hair sopping wet and then comb through it with her fingers. In the end she clips in a rosette and is good to go.
Today, I was struck by the fact that her hair was not done. It's nappy, not even a fro or puff. It's just fluffed up in its completely natural form, and it's beautiful. The kinks and the knots, the way it's matted on the left one day or the back another is lovely. It really is.
Not being in school allows the kids significant space to be a bit of a mess -- according to established standards. We don't worry much about matching clothes or shoes or whatever. Still, the kids have and do develop their own sense of what goes together and how they'd like to appear. It's neat to see them unfold.