Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slice of Life Story Challenge - What I Know For Sure - A Hair Story

     It's Day 24 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers.  I am writing around the theme topic of "What I Know For Sure." (See Day 1 for a full explanation.)

     It was bound to happen.  I had my first stressful wedding dream.  You know those teacher dreams you start to have in August - the ones in which kids stand up on their desks and throw things, you can't get anyone to do anything you say, or you're late, or, God forbid, you're NAKED?!  Or if you've ever been a waiter or waitress, you've had dreams like that, too.  Everyone in the restaurant wants something at the same time, patrons are screaming at you, or, yes, you're NAKED!  Well, as you know, Libby is getting married in June, and of course, my brain has to start processing all the things that might go wrong.  At least I it wasn't about me being naked.  It was about my hair.

     My hair, you ask?  Yes.  It was about getting my hair done and it turning out AWFUL.  Of all the things that my subconscious could worry about, I got up in the morning, chuckling that it had to be hair.  Well, if my brain wants to go to my hair, I might as well tell its story.

     It's been a journey, this peace I now have with my hair (maybe it's not quite all that peaceful since I had a "nightmare" about it).  You see, it's curly.  Very curly. This fact gets mostly positive reactions today, but if you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you'd know that it hasn't always been a positive thing.  It's also mostly positive today because we have a gazillion hair products on the market (THANK GOD) for curly hair, and it can be tamed and controlled.  This was NOT the case in the 70s and 80s.

     The first time I even cared about what my hair looked like was probably around 5th grade.  Before then, I was a farm girl, a soccer player, a 4-Her, an outdoorsy and tomgirl-ish type.  My hair wasn't a concern or a factor.  When I was really little, I mostly wore it in pigtails.    Somewhere along the way, it was cut short.  First mistake. Around 5th grade, you can start to see, in tragic school photos, that I was trying out "styles."  It was mostly just a poof on the top of my head.  In 7th -10th grade, I grew it long again.  However, I remember those years as a desperate attempt to have "wings" like Farrah Fawcett.  I could only come remotely (and I mean remotely) close if I used rollers and sat under a dryer.  In 3 uncomfortable years as a junior high and freshman cheerleader, I could never quite achieve that look that the other cheerleaders seems to enjoy effortlessly.

     After repeatedly growing my hair out and cutting it short again, I've finally settled on longish and let it go curly.  I've come to peace with it and embrace it.  Both my daughters have even curlier hair than I and it's beautiful.  That's not to say they haven't both waged their own battles with their hair...Libby even wrote a college essay about it that described God painstakingly wrapping each strand of her hair around His fingers.  I knew her fiancé was the right one from the start, but it even confirmed it more when she was tossing around ideas for how to wear her hair for the wedding, and he responded, "Please wear it curly." He's a keeper!

My daughters' beautiful curly hair

     When all is said and done, I will wear my hair curly for the wedding, too.  It's me.  It's who I am. And I love it now.  I've battled it, tried to tame it, cut it, rolled it, ironed it, berated it, cursed it, and all but disowned it.  But not anymore.  My subconscious needs to quiet down.  I've got this.  And it's curly.

What I Know For Sure:  I'm going to borrow Libby's final essay words for this.  "I make a point of thanking God for spending His precious time wrapping my hair around His fingers.  I'm sure He had a lot of better things to do."

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well."  - Psalm 139:14

My students are writing about their own hair struggles!

Read about them here  and here.


  1. It seems to me that those people who don't have curls, wish they had them, and vice-versa. My daughter has wonderfully curly hair, which she straightens daily. :(
    You and your daughters all seem to have gorgeous hair, but I like the ease of Ed's. His has natural smoothness and shine.
    A very fun post to read, and I can't wait to see whatever weeding pics you choose to post. I'm sure the hair will be fine, and the least of your concerns.
    On a side note, we both wrote about hair on the exact same day, even including an "I've got this" reference. My post, however, was not induced by nightmares.

  2. I love, love, love Libby's statement: "I make a point of thanking God for spending His precious time wrapping my hair around His fingers. I'm sure He had a lot of better things to do." I'm not sure He did. He was building a Lovely Family! I too, cannot wait to see the pictures from this wedding! So much joy!

  3. Thanks for posting that video with your blog. It was so touching. I really enjoyed reading this and kind of relating. Your hair is absolutely beautiful...and yes, your sub-conscious needs to quiet down. My hair is not as curly as yours, and I just accept it. I am just grateful that I have thick healthy hair. Your daughter has the right guy, too...and can't wait to see wedding pictures. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  4. I don't have curly hair just stubborn hair! So glad you have found your peace. The wedding will be wonderful and all of you will look gorgeous with your curly hair! Can't wait to see the pictures!

  5. Hair is such a terrific topic for a piece of writing. I plan to share this slice with students as a mentor text. Thank you! (Might have to write about hair myself too!)

  6. I have admired your hair and your girls' since I've been reading your blog. And I absolutely adore Libby's quote about God's fingers. That should be made into a poster! My hair is wavy and I've worn it short since 9th grade. I don't think I'll last much longer, but my husband and daughters are rooting for my longer hair. The bangs in my face make me crazy. And I don't think I have a face for a ponytail, so I'll probably cut it when the heat of summer comes. Maybe my students could write 250 words about their hair. That's an idea!

  7. Loved it! I have been on a long journey with my hair!
    Your daughters are beautiful. Her words in the essay are precious.
    P.S. What is your favorite product for curly hair?

  8. Such a real worry! The moment when the stylist turns that chair around and EEEK! I best some of your best hair days are when you've just embraced it and gone with flow (or curl)!