A Wig for Fig
|February 19, 2023||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Have you ever been known and defined by some inherent characteristic? The thing that marked you different from your peers?
Often it’s a trait that you have no control over. Maybe it was glasses, or braces. Your body shape or size.
For Fig it’s her hair.
Look. I get it. Her hair by any objective measure is freaking gorgeous. Piles of gleaming jewel-like red ringlet curls that fall softly in waves.
She hates it.
Who can blame her?
Her entire life people have cooed over her hair. Something she has zero control over. Something she didn’t choose or make, or have any influence over. She wants you to notice the care she taken in chosing her clothes and shoes, but all you can do is say “your red hair is so pretty!”
When you talk about her hair, if you are looking at her face (but most aren’t, most are staring at…her hair) You can tell her brain doesn’t know what to do. Thank you? For something she was born with? For something she had no control over? She doesn’t take any responsibility for it and you can can see her little kid brain churning, trying to decide how to respond. (we are working on a polite “thank you,” but can you see how it’s odd for a kid?)
Strangers comment on it walking down the street. Strange men and women reach out and touch it without permission.
Since she could talk she has wanted to dye it. Red hair isn’t ameable to dying and schools have dress codes and daddy’s are going to be hard to convince.
A couple of weeks ago someone mentioned that I might try a wig.
So I got her one. I let her choose it and when it came, and I carefully tucked away her red curls into the wig net and then placed the wig over her head. Her face absolutely lit up. She was ecstatic.
For twelve dollars I gave her a piece of her narrative back.
All my life I have wanted to control the narrative. To control my title. To control my name. To be known by the things of my choosing instead of the things chosen for me.
“Who cares what other people think?” is something we repeat over and over to our kids, each other, and ourselves.
It’s a great sentiment.
To pretend that the only thing that matters is choosing the narrative in our head and discarding the rest.
Maybe people stronger and smarter and more aware than me can do that, but in the meantime, for people like me and my daughter, there’s wigs to help us show our story to the world.