Are You Red…E?

Today I’m reflecting on my new found obsession with red hair.

I was never a person who appreciated red hair when I was young or growing up or really until recently.  I had friends and relatives with red hair that I loved but never because they had red hair.  I suppose that’s a good sign…I’m not so shallow as I may have thought. I loved their person but was quick to make fun of the difficulties of being a red-haired individual.

Mr. Red himself

Mr. Red himself

I made light of their fair skin and their fear, therefore, of the “demon sun”.  I joked about only being able to wear certain colors because of their own coloring, not of course seeing that I in fact still can not wear green without looking like Frankenstein. 

But, despite my lack of appreciation for this rare gift, I surrounded myself with the superstars – most becoming my closest friends and family. And at last found myself falling in love with one. (oh how the ignorant have fallen)

Here is Andrew - redheaded and looking just as he did 8 years ago on the day that I met him.

Here is Andrew - redheaded and looking just as he did 8 years ago on the day that I met him.

I recently heard rumors that red hair was disappearing.  I was astonished.  How could this be true?! What would we do without red hair? How would we cope without the little flecks and splashes of strawberry blonde in a crowd or without the unique beauty of the “ginger”?

When Andrew and I found out we were expecting we were totally and utterly surprised. No part of us had planned on having a baby at this point in our lives. And during those first months of sickness, fatigue and confusion the one thing that kept me going was this vision my baby, soft and serene with a gentle cap of (you guessed it) red hair.

I considered myself the savior of reds everywhere.  This surprise pregnancy was my way of giving back to humanity and extending this line of diversity in the human race just a little bit longer.

Who knows if the picture I have in my head of a redheaded baby is really.  Clare may come out of me on her birthday with a full head of jet black hair, which Andrew said he was planning on, but something about me can’t avoid the excitement of potentially being a vehicle for something so special, so original.

Now when I go anywhere – to the supermarket, to a gig, to church, on a walk – all I see is red.  I recently taught a class for a friend.  She is a music teacher and I went in and taught her 1st, 4th and 5th grade classes some songs (they all wanted me to be a rapper…to bad. you got folk kids…folk). I found myself staring at the ginger children, gleaming up at me with eyes of bright blue, green, and brown.  I had to shake myself out of it. 

I find myself crying at pictures of little kids that I see randomly on the internet as they pose with their hair blazing under the camera lights – red and again, red.

I found this one today and almost burst into tears

I found this one today and almost burst into tears

So we wait to meet our little daughter knowing that her hair is still translucent and that she won’t get freckles until she’s a toddler. And in the midst of all this expectation and yearning I learned that reds are not actually in danger of being lost forever but only undercover as they have always been and will continue to be a special and unique with out fear of fading away.  I learned that I am not to be the savior of this diverse group but only, as I have become, an admirer.  

no...not so bad at all

no...not so bad at all

I suppose…that’s not so bad.


4 responses

  1. 🙂

    I guess I always took it for granted. But it is special, I suppose. Sam has only ever been attracted to red heads. I blame Ariel.

    btw, I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while, but I just want to say that you and Andrew are a totally hot rock star couple. I’m serious. You should tour and be in magazines. It’s good for the earth that you should procreate. I’m just sayin’.

  2. Val, I love the pictures you posted in this lovely essay. I love the ones of Andrew and the one of the little red-headed girl! Red, red and again red.

    I saw Maggie’s daughter the other day at an AACS concert and her hair is a gorgeous strawberry blond!

  3. Whatever color her hair is, she is bound to be gorgeous! I do love red hair, ever since Anne of Green Gables. …..”Carrots” ahhh, I should see that again.

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