I get it. I totally understand. I want to touch it all the time.
Walking down the street. Cuddled up on the couch. In the middle of playing a board game.
I want to reach out and touch my son’s curly blonde hair. I understand the urge. I do. Those blonde curls explode around his face. He’s in the midst of growing it out which just seems to make the curls that much more compelling.
It’s the type of hair that begs to be touched. Except, it’s not mine to touch. And it’s not yours either.
When you are reaching for his hair, do you see his body flinch, his head jerk away from your hand, the instinctive step he takes to get away? He does not want his hair touched.
Imagine for a minute, that three or four times a day complete strangers reach out and touch your head. They ignore your body language that says stop. And, when you find the courage to say don’t touch me, they look at your mother expecting her to correct you for being rude.
My big dude is not being rude. He’s doing exactly what I’ve taught him to do. Get loud. Be blunt.
There’s no need to say please when you are stopping people from touching you. Their feelings are not your concern. It’s your body and you control it. Yes. That includes your hair.
When he was little, I was always there to act as the barrier. Safe in the stroller, I could wheel him back when I saw the hand rise out towards him. Or a quick body twist would move him out of the way. The odd time, I might be too slow and I would feel his body freeze as he would turn his head away.
He’s not so little now. He runs ahead of me. He goes places by himself. I have to trust that he will use his voice and that those around him will listen. And if they don’t, that he will tell me or that it will be a momentary upset and nothing more.
I get it. I do. But I carried him in my body for 40 weeks, woke up 6X a night for 18 months, and clean up his puke when he is sick and – even I – have to ask permission before I touch his hair.
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