Every twenty minutes all morning long I found long, silvery hairs attached to the baby’s pajamas, my pajamas, the couch, the carpet, my ring, the pacifier, the computer, and, most distressingly, my head.
I frowned as I peered into the bathroom mirror. Sure enough the red streaks in the front of my otherwise dark brown hair were turning pale blonde…and wiry. Before I had only seen the occasional gray hair here and there and I had pulled them out as fast as they had been spotted. But this was something different, a sea change in hair color. As I noticed the many glinting hairs staring back at me, my attention was also drawn to my part. Was it getting wider? I held my breath. Was it worse than I thought? Was my hair not simply content to turn gray but must it also fall out? It all seemed so dramatic. But then again so is motherhood and I wondered why I had any hair left at all.
I called my mom. Actually, I left a message on my parents’ answering machine, wondering if my mom could please call me back because I had a hair dyeing question. She did, and I asked it: am I really going to have to dye my hair all through my thirties? I was only 29 after all.
She encouraged me to calm down. That it would be okay. That she hadn’t noticed any when we had last visited but then gave me the finer points of hiding gray hair. I hung up the phone and glumly thought of having to work my hair maintenance into the monthly budget.
29 and going gray. I see now that I’ve swapped good sleep, a good figure, and now good-looking hair—or at least brown—for motherhood. I suppose that’s still a steal. And at least I’ll have lots of people to take me to the salon in my old age…or maybe next month.