I understood that upon becoming a mother that I would most likely do things I’d never imagined prior to motherhood for the sake of my children, having pink hair wasn’t one I expected. I am now used to the looks I receive upon first seeing me with my variety of bright hair colors, ones that are commonly called “fantasy colors” because there is no way that they could ever be natural. My favorite is bright pink, almost a fuchsia really. For years I dyed my hair various shades of Auburn and I loved it the vibrancy of them. (Naturally I’m simply a dark chestnut brown)
When my eldest son was about 3 years old I started taking him to our local library’s pre-school story time program. It was once a week for 45minutes and he loved it. The part he did not love was “pick-up time”, which was when the grown-ups who were to wander the library during it but to stay away from the actual area the kids were in came back to the children’s area for their child. He didn’t like that time because he had trouble with facial recognition skills and would get anxious trying to “find” me in the throng of moms standing in a row waiting for our kids. I tried to figure out what to do to help him as he couldn’t just quickly scan the area with his eyes and spot me. It would take him time, enough time that he’d get upset thinking that I wasn’t there. I tried pointing out what I was wearing before we’d go in so he could look for a certain color of shirt or whatnot, but that did not work. I tried making sure I was at the beginning of the line, but then he’d start looking at the end first those days and vice versa, I tried calling for him from the moment he started looking, but still he wasn’t sure where my voice was coming from as he’d already be nervous…And that is how my fantasy hair colors started. I dyed my hair a brilliant fuchsia and of course I was the only adult with such hair color at our little library and so it was very easy for him to glance for the hair color and then take the few seconds he needed to verify my face in his mind. The nervousness on his part stopped, and overall it was much happier and better for him as he could be excited about the library program (which he LOVED) and still feel safe and secure that he could find me when he wanted too.
His facial recognition has gotten much better over the years, to the point that I don’t need to dye my hair anymore for his sake. My younger son also associates the fantasy hair colors with me though, to the point that he automatically assumes when seeing them on someone else that they are me, and will try to follow them if I’m not with him calling out “momma”. Once he’s able to recognize my face immediately, and does not need the visual cue of a unique hair color will I stop dying my hair? No, probably not. I started doing it to help my eldest, and eventually my youngest as well, but over the years ironically enough I too have started to associate those hair colors with me.