When I first became a mother I thought there was nothing more beautiful than that. That was until my second child Mɑtthew came to life. The pregnancy went well all the time.
My sister-in-law at the time was doing the ultrasound visit and saw that he was a healthy child with more hair but what we did not know was that his hair was red!
At the time the baby was born neither I nor the nurses could believe our eyes. How was it possible for an African American mother to give birth to a baby with red hair?
The first thing I heard when the baby was born was the phrase “OH MY God.” Believe me, this is the sentence that terrifies a mother the most after all the hours of suffering from childbirth. The baby had red hair. At first, I thought they would just take it off after a shower, but I was wrong.
The nurse washed it 3 times but the hair color did not remove. The boy became famous in the hospital. All the doctors and nurses came to see him because they had never seen anything like it before.
And today every time we go out together people think he’s not my baby. They think I’m the grandmother, the nanny, a relative but not the mother. After I tell that he is my child, they think he got his hair from his father. But we are both African American and we had the MC1R gene that the baby turned out to be with red hair.
Everywhere I go people stop and touch Matthew’s hair and now he is 6 years old. I do not always like this but he likes the attention. But there are not always good thoughts and words.
At a pizzeria, one day my two sons and I were waiting in line when one of the women who were there dared to say that the child with dark skin and black hair and eyes was mine and the other was not. I restrained myself but it was very difficult.
The police even once thought that the child was not mine and I had stolen it. I had to show the birth certificate to show the opposite. For me, it was one of the hardest things I went through.
Matthew also feels bad from the words he says at school implying that he is not my child. My eldest son one day thought of dyeing his hair red to be the same as Matthew. This touched my heart deeply.
At first, the thought of having two children 1 year apart from each other scared me. But I understand that it was one of the most beautiful things that happened to me. They are my boys. They are friends. They are my best friends.