It finally happened! I have been waiting and waiting for this day to arrive. For the first time, my toddler daughter (Miss L) finally discovered she has red hair.
The Day My Daughter Discovered She Has Red Hair (at Target)
We were at Target, of all places. (Big things happen to us at Target a lot as it is our closest store.) I was drinking a caramel macchiato from Starbucks, and Miss L was sipping on a Horizon milk box. It was about 10:30 AM in the morning on a Tuesday. I was pushing her in the red Target cart towards the baby section of the store to buy bottled water. We were just turning a corner, when we passed a boy about 8 or 9 shopping with his mom.
The boy was of normal height and build wearing a striped shirt and jeans. But, what I remember the most was his hair. He had super bright red hair. It was the color of the orange we ate for breakfast and the Target bull’s-eye on every shelf. It was the exact same color as my daughter’s hair. I mean to a T. They could have been siblings.
Yup! He has Red Hair just like you!
I will never forget what the little boy did next. He stopped by our cart, looked straight at my daughter, patted his hair a few times, and gave her a gigantic tooth smile. I watched the moment of reckoning spread across my daughter’s little face. At first, she was shocked that he was interacting with her. She froze mid-sip. But then, she got a huge smile on her face as her eyes found his hair. She turned and looked at me, touched her hair, and said “Me!”
I was so proud. In that moment, I just knew Miss L understood she had red hair. By that time, the little boy and his mom were already walking away. I smiled back at my daughter and said “Yup! He has red hair just like you.” My daughter glowed for the rest of the shopping trip.
Sometimes we get a glimpse of red
It can be days, even weeks, before a red-head kid sees another fellow red-head their own age. There are no other little red-haired girls in any of the mommy-and-me classes we attend. We don’t see redhead kids at the park or at the store or the Post Office. Occasionally, we get a glimpse of one at a crowded place like Disneyland or the mall, but they are always far-a-way, unexpected and fleeting. They are not real contact.
Up until this moment, I know for a fact, that my daughter has never been close to another child with red hair. This saddens me sometimes. Even a 2-year-old, longs for that feeling of belonging, of fitting in, of being understood. No matter what people say about diversity, it is still comforting to see others who look just like you.
At least there are lots of redheads in our family
I am happy that my daughter has lots of carrots in her family to keep her company. There are her grandmothers, her aunt, her great aunts, and her 2nd cousin. She also has me. My daughter loves to play with mommy’s red hair. While I am changing her, she reaches up and grabs long strands of my hair, wrapping them around her head, pressing her forehead to my lips. She encircles us in red hair, making us the same.
But, I want my daughter to have more than this. I want my daughter to have a friend close to her own age with red hair. Someone to grow up with, someone to face the world with. Because let’s face it, most of the world does NOT understand what it is like to have red hair. Being a redhead is a unique adventure, best shared.
Where are all the redhead kids?
I am on the hunt to find my daughter a ginger friend. We are always on the look-out, everywhere we go. We are searching for our unicorn. Sometimes we see one on Instagram, but never in our same city. We find comfort in redhead dolls and Disney princesses (Anna, Ariel, and Merida).
Guess it is up to me
If possible, I would love for that friend to be her sibling. I hope to give my beautiful daughter a sister or brother with red hair one day, but that has not happened as planned (yet!). I was lucky to have a special friend in my sister growing up. My sister and I both had bright red hair, it blinded others into thinking we were twins. We faced the world and our parents together. I want that for my daughter. It’s my mama dream.
Until that time, we both wait for that magical moment when we just so happen to run into another mystical redhead child, perhaps at Target. There must be more than one.
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