Monday, October 8, 2012

First things first, can you pleeeease pop over and quickly give myself {Saige Wisdom}, Harvesting Kale, Flutter Flutter & Sleeping is for Losers your very important VOTE? Go on ahead, I'll wait...

Love you forever, especially if you do it every day for the next 3 days {from multiple computers & cell phones}.

Okay now that that's out of the way, I'll continue... As a kid I recall being mildly annoyed by all the people - namely old older women - who would rave about my red hair. I remember thinking, "is there nothing about me - other than my hair colour - worth complimenting?". I realize this makes me sound a bit spoiled and ungrateful {which I kinda was}, but being a ginger comes with a laundry list of pros & cons...
For the past 29 years I've had a love/hate relationship with my hair. It wasn't until I had a little carrot top of my own that I really started embracing my red roots. Gabriel's hair is shockingly orange {not even the darkest of instagram filters can tone it down} and his noises are ridiculously high pitched {ear piercing really}; as you can imagine this attention seeking combo garners A LOT of public interest, so much that I've recently gotten my black belt in fending off red head related questions & compliments...

"yes he was born with that colour"
"yes the apple didn't fall far"
"yes he has the temper to go with it"
"yes he's pretty fair skinned"
"yes I'm sure the freckles are on their way"
"oh that's sweet of you"
"Gabriel can you say 'thank you'?" 
*smile & nod*
"he sure is a monkey"
"there's a red head in your family/social circle/church? neato"
"sure you can pet my kid"
"well we better get going..."
"Gabriel can you say 'bu-bye"?"

Maybe I'm exaggerating a tiny bit, but it seems like day after day I'm having the same conversations with complete strangers about what it's like have to have - and spawn - red hair. I once saw a mother of twins toting around this bag:
I'm in the market for something similar only related to ginger babies  - maybe I'll have my Etsy shop yet - and this observation got me a thinking...

I'm not going to do a link up or anything, but I'd love to hear from you.

Here I'll go first.

1. "is that your natural hair colour?" which is usually followed by "it's beautiful", "I always wanted red hair" or "my _______ is/was a red head".

2. "I don't know how you do it." I usually get this - or some variation {ie. "I couldn't do what you do"} - after telling people what I do for a living. Truth: being a child protection social worker ain't always easy, but certain moments of it can be terribly rewarding. I'm in the business of saving and changing lives, it's not supposed to be easy.

3. "what's a blog?" this question makes me cringe for the following reasons (a) I dread having to use words like blog, blogger & blogging, they sound silly coming out of my mouth; (b) how does one describe what a blog is without sounding like a narcissistic attention whore? and (c) as  much as I love my blog friends - and I DO! - I find my online presence embarrassing when I discuss it in my everyday life. People who have blogs, read blogs, etc. get me and people who need me to explain what this internet community is all about, don't

I'm going to steal snippets from Erika's recent post '500 Stories Later' which resonated with me. I HIGHLY encourage you to read her entire entry on Something Beautiful... it had me in tears.
To say that blogging has more often than not been the thing holding me afloat as I've navigated the storms of infertility motherhood these last 4 3 years would be an understatement. The ability to selfishly pour out my guts here and receive nothing but support and acceptance, love and encouragement, friends old and new willing to battle in the trenches with me...those things have saved me. 

Bearing my soul in "real life" is intimidating and exhausting to me. Bearing my soul here feels like coming home.

So while I may have embarked on this bloggy journey thinking only of sharing tidbits and anecdotes about our lives and family, it's ended up being something much bigger (and more therapeutic).

The connections I've made with other women traveling this road have been unbelievable to me. Yall started coming out of the woodwork during this last year, sending me the sweetest and most vulnerable emails. Some of you didn't know anyone in real life that you felt like you could talk to, but that for some reason you found me here and felt like you could connect. And then you didn't feel so alone anymore.  

Being part of a community-- even if it isn't in a physical sense-- where you feel like you belong, where you can share openly...dude, you can't put a price tag on that.

Not wanting to end things on a sappy note, I'll leave you with these...
Cartman's rant on redheads
Dexter sportin' a reddish beard, holla!


Erika said...

I had no idea being a redhead subjected you to such scrutiny and questioning!! Now I'm going to be super aware of any obnoxious comments I make to redheads in the future. :) As for comments I myself have become desensitized to...well, skipping all kid/infertility-related questions, which I spend far too much time talking about anyway...I often have people comment along the lines of "WOW, your fingers are SO LONG!" Which, they are. I've been aware of this since like...birth. But that's one of those things that's can I respond to that, besides be like "yup." It's not like I have any control over it. I can't take credit for them. I can't make them shorter. And yes I DO play the piano (although not very well), but I'm pretty sure finger-length wasn't a big influence in my parents' decision to sign me up for lessons! So...thanks, weird people, for pointing out...that.

Sandra Kohlmann said...

I totally get this! Even before I saw the picture of that bag, I was thinking about the inane questions I get about my twins. People mean well, but they seem clueless to the fact they are asking the same questions every.other.person I meet has asked. Knowing that you get a similar line of questioning makes me realize I should stop complaining. Also, I think I'm going to make a similar bag to carry around!

Victoria @ The FAT Paint™ Company and ÉdinHome said...

When I met you at BLEND the first thing I said to you was something like this: "I recognize you because of your hair!" Please know that it wasn't the colour; it was the curls! Really!! ;-) But I do understand what you're speaking about because one of the first things I thought/felt when I saw Gabriel's beautiful head of hair was how I wanted to touch it!! 8-/ Love "Dexter's" beard!!

hart365 said...

Aw, I love the sappy bit!! What can I say, I'm a sucker for red hair. I'll admit I was slightly disappointed neither one of my girls inherited their Daddy's colour. I do get odd questions about their curls though, "is that natural?" No, I get up at 430am and take a tiny curling iron to them both. Yikes.

E said...

1. I'm in full support of red hair; in fact, I'd be thrilled if Sam ends up with red hair (heck, I'll be thrilled if he ends up with ANY hair).

2. I do not like Dexter's red beard. I'm sorry.

3. I am SO with you on how awkward it is describing/discussing your online "presence" with people in real life. I must come across as the strangest combination of self-obsessed and nerd. Glad we are together on that.

Ashley said...

the leghair thing?! totally never knew that! how cool!

John was a redhead until about three and his little sister sports it, with wild, unruly curls to boot. LOVE. :)

Danielle Hardy said...

you make my heart so happy.. one of my favorite posts ever. About 11 years ago I lived in the Caribbean working as a waitress. Below are a list of ridiculous questions I had to endure on a daily basis.

1. Do you live here? No, I fly in everyday from Canada to work at a sports bar
2. Does the island ever move? No, I'm pretty sure it's anchored down to the ground and not floating around in the ocean.
3. Have you ever tried snorkeling under the island? again, IT'S NOT FLOATING!!! you can't go under it!!

I wish I were joking.

Bubblez King said...

Um, not sure how I found your blog, but I love it!

I am nominating you for a Liebster Award. I’d explain it all now, except I’m dead tired. So, please follow this link for the details. :)

It’s legit. I swear. I only like Spam fried on a sammich.

Lin said...

I've always found redheads pretty hot, especially women. And, I can't even begin to tell you about how jealous I am of how fantastic you gals all look in green.

Getting that bag, with all your 'redhead' answers, would be so awesome. I say do it :)

Shaina Longstreet said...

You're killing me with this post my dear...the good way of course. I love what you said about blogging. it does feel weird to try and explain it to people who don't know what a blog is and don't "get" it.

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