my dreads are my teacher. 27
my dreads, day 27, taken with phone up in my loft

Many of you dreadies-to-be have been writing and inquiring about how mine are doing and how I am fairing in the process. I thought I'd share it here since my free time is so limited these days. I no longer have that luxury of returning emails promptly. Oh how I wish I could sit for hours and reach out and connect with all of you. So, I am publicly apologizing for my flakiness. Know my heart is so there but my fingertips cannot be. ; )

The last few weeks I've been going through moments of panic as I see each individual dreadlock changing and forming into a personality all on their own. I remember when I first went to Stephanie I told her I wanted loose and flowy and free (which she was so happy about because that is her favorite and what she had for years). At first she did them really tight and perfect because she knew I couldn't just hop over to her for maintenance like most people do in a few weeks. She's all the way in Portland and I'm in Southern Cali and a plane ride and hotel room just aren't feasible right now for us. She told me I may not like them at first because they were so tightly wound. What's funny is that I got so used to them being this way that anytime a stray hair came out I felt afraid they would fall apart. I had dreams that they fell out completely after a night of inspecting each dread and noticing how many fly away straight hairs I had. I have heard the dreams are completely normal, btw...which makes me laugh.

What I love about the crochet method is that you don't have to put sticky product in your hair. I loved the idea of elle naturelle and just crocheting loose hairs back in with a crochet hook, training your hair to lock up by itself. The hard side of that is that my husband is still learning how to do it and feeling fumbly, so I am unable to do the maintenance as often as I'd like. Although I must say, it is super sexy to be sitting between his legs and feel his fingers in and out of my hair. Plus, how delicious is it to have your man doing something creative on you? Next stop: painting my body. ; )

Oops, I digress...(must be ovulating).

I suppose my concern is that once I get too many loose hairs and ultra fuzz, it will look so untamed that it appears messy and unkempt. What is ironic about this is that I wanted unkempt, untamed and loose, didn't I?

I remember looking at countless images of dreadlocks before starting this process and was always attracted to the half in-half out dreads. I never thought of them as messy in a bed head sense but just loose and flowy. Now that my hair is getting to that point, I am finding myself in a space of learning acceptance and letting go and embracing the change.

I talked to Stephanie last week on the phone and she so wisely said to me..."this is what this process is all about for you, not only about your dreads but this new journey you are on as a mother."

She is so right. How parallel is this for me? Longing for motherhood for so, so long I romanticized it a bit (borrowed the word romanticized from a friend that recently wrote me about this). I knew I deeply wanted it and it belonged to my heart to be a mother but all I thought about were the flowy perfect moments. The moments I witnessed between mothers and babies at a park or in a film. I had this vision in my head of what it would be.

Now that I am here and reveling in each moment with my precious, precious son, I am also feeling fumbly about the awkward parts. The fact that I am constantly exhausted and walking around with bags and dark circles and not feeling glowy (proof: see eyes in photo above) or with energy and time to do all else I'd love to do.

Like with my dreads, there is a push and pull of "Oh I love these! They suit me perfectly! These are so fun! Just what I wanted!" and "Oh this is scary! What if they fall out? What if they end up looking too messy? Am I sleeping on them wrong? You can see my grey hair in the fuzz!"

I love the parallels of conflict and I believe this is what drew me into doing my dreads at this time in my life. Motherhood and my dreadlocks are obviously my teacher right now, helping to guide me through the act of letting go, being gentle, having patience, not reacting, embracing change, reveling in messy, accepting that this dream is now an unkempt reality and no longer a perfect illusion.

I was with a friend this past weekend and something she said has lingered within my heart. She was talking about how a specific challenge in her life is her "teacher" and when I grasped that concept, I had a different perspective of the challenges I've been facing.

So with this one challenge of watching my dreadlocks turn into whatever they are supposed to be, I am looking at them now as my teacher for so many other areas in my life.