Yikes. It happened. I responded without thinking. A few days ago, my daughter, Ellie, saw a photo in a magazine of a little girl with a perfectly coiffed afro. I've always been a little hesitant to fix her hair in this style for fear that others would think that I don't properly care for her hair. We decided to try it yesterday and Ellie loved it! My wonderful friends and family all responded with encouraging and complimentary remarks. At dance class this evening, two 6 yr old girls ran up to us and one of them pointed at Ellie and said, "Your hair looks funny!!" Then she and the other girl snickered to themselves. Kate and Ellie looked shocked. At first I was planning on ignoring them, until the girl loudly began to repeat what she had said. Feeling that familiar "mother bear instinct" rising up in me, I said, "I think her hair is beautiful and soft. We need to use our words to say KIND things to each other." The girls looked stunned and ran off to find their mothers. The hurt look on Ellie's little face about killed me. I reassured her that daddy and I think her hair is gorgeous, and that God Himself picked out the color and texture of her hair. I reminded her that God even knows how many hairs are on her head! How amazing is THAT thought? I feel badly that I wasn't more gentle or instructive towards the girls who were mean. This mother bear is crawling back into her cave.