Cecilia and I were at the grocery store and we turned right to head down the detergent aisle; we quickly saw it was occupied by a thirty something African American woman and her grandmother. I got one glimpse at the younger woman and for some reason I just had a feeling. Mother's intuition?
We shop at a grocery store where white folks are generally the minority (or at least only about half of the population at any given time), so passing by AA individuals is commonplace. This made me nervous once upon a time because I was always waiting for someone to say something to the effect of, "What is a white woman doing with a black baby?!" and so on and so forth. As it turns out, nobody cares. Wouldn't you know it! Usually I just see people of all colors smile at the little baby with all that hair and we all go about our business.
I've read a lot online about white families with brown babies and the things strangers have said about their child's hair in particular. I've heard of a lot of women getting unsolicited advice and they are unsure how to take it. When C was an itty bitty the check-in woman at the doctor's office said a few times to "get advice," and it made me wonder if she thought her hair looked bad already somehow. In hindsight I think she just meant to get advice.
So anyway, we were walking down the aisle and this woman asked, "Who does her hair for you?" I was happy to shock them and say "I do." It's slightly insulting that she would just assume I was incapable, but it was such a compliment at the very same time. She proceeded to give me tons of unsolicited advice, which I took graciously since all of her advice was peppered with flattery. She didn't tell me a single thing I didn't already know about AA hair care, which further solidified that I do know what the hell I am doing with my baby...because she is my baby.
So it happened. I got gobs of unsolicited hair advice and lived to tell the tale. I didn't cry. I didn't feel like I wasn't good enough for this beautiful girl (seriously, look at that face). I didn't get defensive. I just let her give me her "advice" and walked away knowing I was just fine without it.