I have natural curly hair. I mean huge hair. Like, in the 80’s I had giant 80’s hair without even trying. And then came the trend where it was popular to have stick straight hair. So for many years now I have been straightening this giant mass of curls in to stick straight glossiness. And that’s not easy, especially if there’s an ounce of humidity (or if you go to the gym, or if it rains, etc). It’s an all out battle to keep these locks straight: forcing them into line; using extreme high heat, blow outs, straightening irons, round brushes, special shampoo, styling products galore. Not only is it a battle, it’s time-consuming and exhausting.
And then one day I began admiring “natural hair”. I took the leap and went to a salon that only does curly hair. They teach women to appreciate the beauty of their curls (did you know there are many kinds of naturally curly hair?). They teach them how to work with their curl, not to fight it or damage it. And if you ask them to straighten it, they will say no. They’re hard core. Gosh, it’s like a hair intervention!
Now I rock my curls. I have not straightened my hair in over a year. I look totally different. My own mother asked if I had gotten a perm! But to be honest, managing curly hair isn’t easy even when going natural. There are days I look more like Sammy Hagar or Carrot Top than the cute girl look I’m going for (although those guys do rock their curls!). There are days I feel unkempt with my curls blowing around crazily. And then there are also days when people stop me on the street to ask about my hair and tell me how beautiful it is.
And I wondered, is this kinda like being a stepmom? As stepmoms do we try to force ourselves into roles that aren’t quite right for us? Do we try to assume a mom role or get disappointed when we’re not acknowledged as a true mom? Do we take on a friend role instead of a parental role? If we are rejected by our stepkids, do we rush to reject them right back? Are we just not sure how to manage? Do we try too hard to control our family members, trying to force them all into place? Like taming my hair but on a bigger scale, it’s exhausting and time-consuming being a stepmom.
What if we embraced the “natural”? What if we truly embraced the beauty that’s inherent in just simply being a stepmom? What if we let go of other expectations? What if we stopped trying to force things and just breathe and just be. Once we learn to do that, I bet people will notice the natural beauty of it.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV.
Today I’m thankful for the beauty only He gives to each of us, and that each of us is beautiful in our own way.
What are you thankful for?