I’m kind of at a breaking point with this topic and need to clear the air. I can’t leave the house without someone mentioning how cute my girls are. My kids are my world and I love them dearly, and I want the world to love them too, for who they are.
I enjoy all of the compliments because my kids ARE cute. But what bothers me is that many people think or automatically assume that my oldest, the one with the long curly hair, is a girl simply because of the long hair.
He is not a girl. Yes, he has long, beautiful, curly hair. But he is a boy. I do not have two daughters. I have a son and a daughter.
I try not to let this bother me and I know I’ll still have to deal with it for years to come, but when I say this happens every time we leave the house, I’m not exaggerating. I could literally record myself saying, “He’s not a girl. This is my son,” and have it ready to play at any moment.
And it’s not everyone who compliments him, that assumes he’s a girl. Some people can see he’s a boy and ask questions like if we’ve ever cut his hair. Or they’ll ask how old he is, wondering how long his hair’s been growing. And sometimes I’ll even get asked about tips for managing it because other people are dealing with the same type and texture of hair with their own children, and it is not easy to manage.
But for those of you who think my son is actually my daughter, please just take a moment before you comment. If you take a closer look you’ll see that he is dressed like a boy and he looks like a boy. If you’re not sure, you can still compliment without being gender specific. Instead of using “daughter” or “her,” use “child.”
“I love your child’s hair,” is the perfect compliment. And when I respond, I’ll likely say “his” or “he,” and that’s your clue that he is in fact a boy.
If you DON’T take that moment before commenting, don’t get upset when I correct you, because I WILL correct you. No, I’m not interested in your unwanted advice. No, I’m not going to cut his hair so he will look like a boy. And if that’s your response, I promise, you will get more than you bargained for. He already looks like a boy. A boy with long, beautiful, curly hair. The cutest boy you’ll ever see (my opinion is definitely biased, but you get my point).
The child with the long curly hair, that’s my son.
So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest and if you’re now wondering –
When my son was smaller and his hair started getting out of control, I said it was time to cut it. But Daddy had other plans, so here we are five and a half years later and our son has never had his hair cut (unless you count the time he had a horrible tangle that I just couldn’t brush out so I snipped it).
My son’s hair has become a part of him. I have no idea what he would look like without it, but I imagine I wouldn’t even recognize him. The curls, the length, the way it frames his face, the way it looks in a pony tail or a bun, the wild frizz and tangles we deal with daily, it’s part of who he is. And I’m pretty sure if we were to cut it, he wouldn’t know how to react either.
Maybe he’ll grow up and keep his long locks. Maybe he’ll decide enough is enough, and cut it. Maybe he’ll even donate it. Whatever he chooses, it’s one thing we’re giving him the freedom of choosing on his own.