Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Swear, They're Really Mine!

Yes, I'm the mother of eight children. But the oldest few are often moving in their own circles these days, so I am frequently seen about town with only four, five or six children in tow. ("Only!" some of you may snort at this point)

When I'm out running errands with my entourage, the most common question I have to field is, "Are they all yours?" But invariably, the next question is, "Where did they get the blond hair?" See, I was blonde as a child, but by the age of 12 my hair had darkened to that point where you could no longer tell if it was a light brown or a dark blonde. I'm a deep chestnut brunette now (with sparkly silver highlights), which apparently makes me as out of place as a black orchid in a garden of lilies. It doesn't help AT ALL that the majority of the children favor their father's side of the family, either.

The difference is especially obvious when I have my four grubby angelic little blond girls with me. Clare (8) is still very brassy blond. Theresa's (5) roots are getting darker all the time, and the twins' hair is showing signs that it will also eventually get darker.

It's even worse when Conor accompanies me. He's the blondest of my blondies, with a head of hair like corn-silk which, at age 11, still isn't showing signs of turning darker.

I could try to explain that I used to be blond as a child, but these conversations usually take place as I'm entering or exiting the grocery store. No time for lengthy explanations. I usually have to reply, lamely, "Well, my husband is a blond," which isn't exactly true anymore. I mean, I still think of him as a blond, but my older children argue this point vigorously. They insist that he's got light brown hair now.

Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. WHATever.

So I offer, as proof of my former blondicity, and to validate my claim as mother to these towheads, bona fide snapshots of me as a child:

Age 2, 3, 4

1st grade, 4th grade

And the strangest thing is that even though I haven't technically been a blonde for 29 years, I still don't automatically think of myself as having dark hair. Inside I will forever consider myself a blonde.


  1. Very funny. I am sure some would start with a few blonde jokes, but I am not feeling like a comedian at the moment. I just think it is funny how the public verbalizes their curiosity. I get the, "are they all yours?" so often as well. For the most part the public is kind and gentle in regards to my ducklings in a row, but there are a few comments that tend to be less than pleasant. I feel like someone must have put a post it note on my back saying, "please tell me what you think", or lately " please mention the Duggars".
    I never even thought about the difference in hair color between you and your children because the same thing happens to so many on my side of the family. What I think it weird is when there are two blonde parents and a brunette child!

  2. Hi Michele, I'm glad you stopped by. I lost you somehow in the shuffle. I "only" have 1 child and can hardly keep up with him. I'm not sure how you do it! Any advice? We want another, but I'm scared silly about it! haha. Thanks for the compliments on Boyd.

  3. Ha! I love this post! As usual, I can soooo relate. I never in a million years thought I'd have blonde-haired children. I'm very dark-haired and so are my first two girls, and my husband is brown-haired/eyed, so where in the heck did our blondies with light eyes come from? My mom was a tow-head as a child and my husband's sisters were blonde as kids, so I guess it's RECESSIVE GENES hooking up . . .

  4. Michele, thank you so much for your comments today! You really made my day, and gave me some good stuff to think about. I went and read the chicken story. That is a great lesson for me! On the child subject, I loved having your perspective. Hearing other's thoughts and ideas really help me! I just remember those first few months of Boyd's life, they were SOOOO hard. I wonder if I will break if I do that again. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's a real fear I have. Anyway, thanks again and I cherish your comments!