Hair was always a big thing in our house. A really big thing. Son Joe, adopted from Nicaragua at the age of 17 months, came with a sweaty mop of curly hair and a bald spot on the back of his head from laying in his crib all the time. By 4th grade, he had latched on to the Elvis look. He left the house each morning with his hair carefully sculpted, using handfuls of gel, into a glossy, hard as steel black helmet. No amount of talking to him about what great hair he had changed a thing — his style was his style.
Enter Jhosy. Jhosy came to the U.S. from Nicaragua at the age of 6. She was already annoyed about her hair which was short – in the fashion of institutions that want to cut down on lice and scabies. So she grew her hair and it was gorgeous – thick and black. And then, oh jeez, she started with the coloring and the dying and the henna and the red. And all of it was agony to watch because she was so beautiful. But yes, you got it — her style was her style.
Yesterday was Jhosy’s 23rd birthday. Her dad called to wish her happy birthday because, naturally, she was with her friends and not with us. “Where’s Joe?” he asked, knowing that Joe had promised to drive out to her party. “I don’t know,” Jhosy said. “He always gets lost. You know how he is.” “Besides,” she added, “he said he had to stop and get a quick haircut.” Janice Wilberg, Jan Wilberg