Home » Big Chop » A Letter To Rocco

A Letter To Rocco

Dear Rocco,

It’s good to see you in this state. Healthy and full. I know it wasn’t always this way and well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry it took me years to realize you were a great gift to my head. But… I never really knew you. You were just a bit of fuzz even when I was two. When I was closer to five you made more of an appearance. Awkwardly standing on my head. After that mom made sure to braid you and treat you well. Except for those days when the hot comb would come out. Mom didn’t mean to burn you and the tops of my ears. She put you in box braids and you grew. You were cool.

And then I forgot about you.

Remember those times when I put that cream on you? It burned but I told you to chill and just relax. I thought you were sooo uptight. I know, I know… You were pissed and you broke off and stuff. I was pissed because you broke so we didn’t really talk a lot. I just flat-ironed you. Nearly daily. So you broke off some more. Let’s just say we weren’t very good at communicating. Or maybe you were communicating but I wasn’t listening.

Back in February you broke off so much that there wasn’t a lot left of you. Actually you left a great bit of length in front but not a lot anywhere else. You made me look kind of silly. I didn’t really know what to do. I watched YouTube and read blogs and realized: “I don’t have to treat you like that.” So that’s when I took you in and gave you a fresh start.

You see?

It was sort of an audition. I’ve known you for 24 years but I never let you be you. When I let you do your thing 7 months ago today I could see you your excitement. It was your chance to shine and baby you put on your tap shoes and danced. I watched. I learned. I wanted to know what made you flourish so I watched other girls and their curls and did what they did. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but this time when you talked, I listened.

You’re free. I think you’re happy finally. All you wanted was to be you. And that’s all I need.

-Ndeshimona

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