The Keeper Of The Curls

When I was pregnant with our second child I wanted a little girl so badly that I felt guilty. Our first born was a son and I longed for a baby girl I could put ribbons and lace on. I dreamed about what she would look like. In my dreams she had big blue eyes and black, curly hair.

This was before the days when they routinely did ultra-sounds so we had no idea if we were having a girl or a boy. When she was born in 1984 we were thrilled to have a daughter. Her eyes were blue (but they didn't stay that way). Her hair was very dark, but not black, and it definitely wasn't curly.

Did I care? Of course not. She was perfect.

My Childhood

My mother didn't get a little girl with curls either. My hair was "straight as a stick," as she was fond of saying. Mom worked and worked to get my straight hair to curl. I remember lots of stinky perms and hours with burning goop on my head. It made my hair fuzzy most of the time and curly some of the time, but it was expensive, time consuming and smelled worse than a skunk.

My daughter only had one perm before I gave up on the curls. I didn't give up on hair ribbons though. I loved bows and would fasten them to her silky hair-only to watch them slide out within minutes. Her hair was simply too fine to hold a ribbon in place.

Hair Experiments

Over the years I have watched my daughter experiment with her hair (just like I did). Over the years she's bleached her hair (I did mine too) and highlighted it with assorted colors.

Hair is just hair and if she wants to shave her head or die her hair purple, she has every right to. But if you ask me when her hair is the most beautiful, I would answer that I like it best when it's her natural color.

My Daughter's Daughter

When my granddaughter was born she didn't have a lot of hair but by the time she was 8 months old I could tell it was going to be curly. I was so excited! It took awhile but her hair eventually got thicker and long enough to curl and now it's in ringlets.

Besides having curly hair she loves wearing hair bows. My daughter bought her an assortment of them in every color of the rainbow. Some of them are so big they almost dwarf her little head, but she wears them proudly and patiently.

Four Years Later

My granddaughter is 4-years-old now and the other day my daughter took a picture of her daughter's curls. She shared the picture on Facebook and talked about how precious those curly locks are to her.


I agree. They are gorgeous, but I couldn't help but smile a knowing smile. No matter how beautiful her hair is now -- one day she will want to change it.

I also know without a doubt that my other granddaughters will do the same. The oldest (almost 11), already straightens her beautiful curls. The next granddaughter has straight hair and I'm sure will try to curl hers. And the baby granddaughter is only a few months old and still working on growing hair.

My friend, Laura, had some great advice for my daughter about girls and their curls that she shared.

"Your daughter has gorgeous hair ... but having had those curls myself (my girls as well) & fighting with them for years, it is inevitable that she will want to cut, color, flatiron, etc. I held out until 8th grade with mine, then cut it all completely off. I've had to compromise with the girls on straightening & coloring ideas to make the long hair & curls more bearable. Cherish it while she's young & you're the keeper of the curls!"

So true, Laura. Little girls grow into big girls, and eventually into women and while we love the women they become, we can't help but miss the little girls they were. Our time as keeper of the curls passes way too quickly.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

25 Ways To Rock Gray