3.24.2013

Habesha Hair and Attachment

Tonight at a party Fikir randomly found me among throngs of strangers, threw her arms around my waist and said

Mom, I love you.

It was the First Time. She's written notes, maybe even responded a mumbled "love you" with other children saying it in response to my declaration. But this was the first time she said it by herself, without prompting from anyone. She was feeling insecure at the party and doing what most kids do: acting goofy and clingy in a way that is borderline cute and borderline not-cute-cause-it's-too-much. Her saying I love you maybe was part of that insecurity and trying to figure out what to do when there are so many eyes on her, but even amid my unflinching over analysis, I realize there are SO many other things a kid could do when feeling insecure.

Being goofy and displaying affection, even if it is for a show for an adoring audience, well, it's kinda normal. I will take it. I will run with it. I will hug back and say I love you right back. And let it be positive. (Do you hear me inner attachment-challenged voice that doesn't shut up?)

And speaking of Fikir, we are in a good place with hair. She loves having it done (really, loves when it's done, just not the entire process.) She told me today

Mom, I cry sometimes, but I look so good. Chigger yelem.  (No problem.) I like you do so good job, Mom.


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I make sure she gets a treat during it and keep it simple and give her breaks when necessary. This number took about thirty minutes and she was a happy little camper. No, the parts are not straight. It's tough because she has a lot of scarring on her head and working around those spots with less hair make it tricky. It is what it is and she doesn't seem to mind.

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As far as braiding goes, I like that it's not especially comfortable for her but something she wants to participate in; because of that, it gives me ample opportunity to praise her for doing such a good job and telling her how proud I am, and how awesome she is doing, and just really laying it on thick. She needs to hear those things, and I need to say those things. We have so hard moments every week, sometimes every day, but I am so glad that  hair time has become bonding time indeed. We need it.


This kid is a warrior. Period. Don't look now, but I think I might be falling in love.
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16 comments:

Kate said...

That last picture is incredible. Those eyes...

kareydk said...

I wish my boy didn't think braids are "girlie." Although I understand being able to just shave a head is much easier. But grooming is such a great piece of attachment building. Man, back in the day when it was a war zone every minute he was awake, one positive interaction we could have would be for T to do my hair, and by that I mean he would clip in every last clip and barrette I own. I resort to that even now, when he seems to be spiraling endlessly downward. A half hour of braiding mommy's hair does a world of good. And these braids you did are gorgeous. I'm envious. And such a beautiful little girl.

The Busters said...

Oh my word, that last picture. I just want to stare at it (in a non creepy way). So Beautiful.

Tesi said...

gorgeous. the ideas and the girl.

Tesi said...

gorgeous. the ideas and the girl.

Tesi said...

gorgeous. the ideas and the girl.

findingmagnolia said...

You are both beautiful.

(And I am so jealous of the braids because my sausage fingers can't seem to get braids into the head of hair I'm currently working with. Only flat twists. *sigh*)

The Lost Planetista said...

Braid envy here.

Sharon said...

That last picture. Wow.
Those braids took you 30 minutes? You are super fast!

Dana said...

Beautiful girl. Good job with the hair.

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Captain Murdock {Godwilladd.com} said...

Love! That is all.

Sarah said...

She is gorgeous. Love. <3

Anne Seichter said...

Love the braids and the girl! So sweet!