Kinky

Bruja.

It means "witch" in Spanish and was something I grew up hearing constantly as a child. It was a reference to my crazy, kinky curls that my mother insisted on brushing so much they frizzed to a static nightmare before pulling and twisting the whole mess into the world's tightest pony tail.

I'm sure my aunts and uncles didn't mean anything by it. They thought it was cute.

I probably laughed it off.

"Look at her hair," I say to my friend H.C. just a few weeks ago when out and about, "it's crazy and I love it."

I'm referring to a little girl, probably five or six years of age, and she's oblivious to the admiring glances being cast her way by anyone who passes. Her kinky curls are wild and free and defying gravity just because they can. She doesn't notice the glances because what other people think doesn't matter to her. I imagine she's been raised with "you're beautiful just the way you ares" and "the world would be so boring if we all looked the sames." It's the same message I try to convey to Buttercup every chance I get. I don't want her growing up to think everyone is judging her appearance and that her crazy curls must be manipulated to be something they are not just so she can blend in with everyone else trying not to look like they are trying to blend in, too.

My mother came to visit a few months back and good times were had by all as she spoiled her granddaughter with cuddles and toys and kisses. She spoiled me, too, with little things like mornings to sleep in and the opportunity to go grocery shopping by myself. I didn't realize until she left that Buttercup hadn't had one wind blown curl fly across her face during the entire visit. And I certainly wasn't prepared for temper tantrums and pleas to "pull my hair back, mama!" for the two weeks i "lost all the hair bands in the house."

But there it was. And here I am.

If I wasn't a mother of a four-year-old who asks me questions like why I didn't wish for two babies or if humans will become extinct if the Earth runs out of water, I might continue to pull my 'fro back into a bun at the nape of my neck because I'm not self-conscious that way. But I am the mother of a fou-year-old who asks me questions like why I didn't wish for two babies and if humans will become extinct if Earth ever runs out of water. And unless I want her asking me why I encourage her to love and celebrate her curls while I try to hide my own, it's time to celebrate what I've got, too.

For both our sakes.

Today, I went out with The Husband with my mexifro in all its glory. No one pointed. No one laughed. I even got complimented. And after I forgot about being self-conscious, I realized how lovely it felt to just let myself be.