When I was a child, old ladies would often come up and ask me, “Where did you get your red hair?” Too young to fully understand the complex system of genetics, I went with what I knew. “My uncle!” I would proudly reply, since he was the only redhead in the family that I knew of. So to prevent any unwelcomed invitations to appear on the next episode of Sally Jesse Raphael (Yeah, I’m a product of the 80’s), my mother taught me how to say recessive gene, because neither of my parents were blessed with ginger locks.
Talk to any red head and they will tell you that it is both a blessing and a curse. People will notice if you have red hair and they have some pretty strong opinions. I remember being called Big Red on the bus in middle school, I hated it. There have been times where all I wanted to do was be a wall flower in unfamiliar places, like our trip to Cuba, where men would call out at me on the street. However, over time I have learned to embrace my copper top because it has uniquely shaped my whole life.
I feel like my experience as a red head has been preparing me for the public life as a mother of multiples, beginning with these questions:
“Does red hair run in your family?”
“Is it natural?”
“Better you than me”
“I wish I had red hair….”
“My cousins’ third wife had red hair”
Substitute twins for red hair and you may get a sudden feeling of déjà vu. Both twins and red hair are very rare. Around 2% of the population has red hair. Around 2% of the population are twins. Let’s face it, people are fascinated with things they don’t see all the time and they feel compelled to comment.
I know we all want to get in and out with our multiples without drawing undue attention, especially when they are about to spontaneously self-destruct within five minutes of entering the building, but we need to remember what a blessing we have. Mothers of twins, triplets, quads+ have the unique opportunity of getting to hear a choir of baby giggles and coos on a peaceful morning.
When I am stressed out and I have had a rough day with the babies, that is exactly when I want to go out because I am reminded that I am doing what strangers don’t hesitate to tell me they don’t know how I do. I am loving every minute with my two little genetic rarities, hair color TBD.
What unique experiences have helped to prepare you for being a mother of multiples?
Jamie is a redheaded mother of three lively boys, big brother age 2 and identical twins age 6 months. Check out Jamie’s blog and podcast, The Playdate Crashers.