I recently read an article on Huffington Post called, “Being a Redhead: Why It’s a Love-Hate Relationship“. Being a redhead myself, with a redheaded “ginger baby” (as the writer of this article so aptly puts it) I’ve got to admit it resonated with me.
Growing up, I was called all sorts of things because of my red hair. I was a painfully shy, awkward, nerdy kid, was bullied relentlessly in general, but my red hair was an easy target. “Pippi Longstocking”, “Little Orphan Annie” and “Carrot Top” come to mind, among some other, less appropriate remarks. I remember wanting desperately to disguise my freckled skin and dye my hair blonde (oh, to be a blonde — they clearly have more fun), but my mother would never let me. She would always tell me how beautiful my hair was.
And the 13 year old version of myself would cross my arms and pout.
Fast forward to the 27 year old version of myself, pregnant with my first child. By that point, I was older and wiser, and able to accept the uniqueness of red hair (we are only about 4% of the world’s population, I speculate that this is because, historically, so many of us were burned at the stake for being “evil”.). But whenever people would ask me, “Do you think your baby will have red hair?” I’d laugh, and have a slight pang of worry. My husband is half Italian with dark hair. I thought for sure she’d come out with his hair and complexion. And much of the time, I hoped so. I wanted to spare her the torment of the name-calling I had encountered on behalf of cruel middle school kids for being a freckle-faced, redheaded kid.
On May 29, 2008, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who had her Daddy’s facial characteristics and my pale skin and, much to my surprise, auburn fuzz. She was so beautiful. Everyone commented on how beautiful she was. And I loved that, as much as she looked like her father, she at least had inherited at least one trait that was definitely mine.
|Miss A, only minutes old, with her auburn baby fuzz|
A few weeks after she was born, her baby fuzz fell out and I was sure it would come back in a darker color. Much to my surprise, it came in even redder than when she was a newborn.