One of the pictures I found when I made the slide show of my mother’s life for her funeral was this photograph of her as a small child on a pony. I don’t recognize the building behind her, so I don’t know where the picture was taken. I have no idea what the occasion was for this pony ride in full cowgirl regalia. Was she in a parade? Was it just a neighborhood activity? Who else was involved? Those questions will probably never be answered.
I love the picture of her in her little Dutch boy haircut. By the time she was about five or six, her mother put her in pigtails, but her toddler pictures all show my mother as a little blond Dutch boy.
Most of the women in my family have straight, wispy hair. My sister was blond like my mother. (”Dishwater blond,” our paternal grandfather called it, which my sister took as a terrible insult.) She didn’t have much hair until after her first birthday, but in her toddler years, she, too, sported the Dutch boy look. The barrette on top of her head kept the wisps from standing straight up.
I was a brunette from birth onward. My hair—though thick—was so fly-away that my mother braided the sides and held the braids down with barrettes. But in my early years, I also wore the simple Dutch boy style. I hated that my mother cut my bangs so short—a dispute that lasted until I was in high school. Then I cut them myself using Scotch tape as a guide, until I quit wearing bangs altogether.
It’s a good thing I married a man with thick, curly hair. My daughter got his curls, which I loved and envied. Of course, since none of us likes the hair God gave us, my daughter straightens her curls now, much to my regret.
Among my kids, the Dutch boy look ended up where it should—with my son.
What family resemblances do your relatives discuss?