Emerand and Zephyr's Authentic Story - A Mother's Perspective

When my son Zephyr was born, and he came out with red hair, my partner and I were shocked. We were not at all expecting him to be a ginger. My partner has red hair, but I'm a brunette, and I don't know of any redheads in my family—from what we read, I would have to be a carrier of the red hair gene, in order for us to have a redheaded baby, since the gene is recessive. When I took him in for one of his first doctors appointments, the pediatrician exclaimed, "He has red hair, how did that happen?" 

I was so happy when Zephyr came out with red hair, because I think it's very special. There's such a small number of the population with red hair, and I've read that eventually the red hair gene is going to go extinct! Which is so sad. As you can see my older son Em (he isn't my biological son, but still my son nonetheless), also has red hair. We joke about how my partner must have strong genes to have made two red haired babies with two different women (neither of which have red hair). 

I think the most important thing to keep in mind when you have a red haired baby is how much thought and care you have to put into protecting them from the sun. It's wild honestly, how easily they burn, even in comparison to other fair-skinned children who are not red heads. Sun screen alone is not enough. I also highly recommend sun hats with SPF and sun shirts/swimsuits with SPF. This summer was Zephyr's first summer, and I was so nervous about him getting sunburnt, so I went all out. I got him special mineral sunscreen made of zinc and shea butter, a sun hat, and a swimsuit that covered his whole body. Which did the trick! He didn't get a burn all summer! My older son Em, however, who is 5, and did not want to keep his hat on one day at the beach, got a burn on his face, even though I reapplied sunscreen a couple times. I felt awful. Luckily his long sleeve swim shirt protected the rest of his body! I made a plan for our next beach trip, so he wouldn't get burned again. I would put the special zinc sunscreen on his face in a thick layer every hour, and tell him if he didn't keep his hat on we would leave! I know it's hard, because it's not fun to wear a hat in the water, but sunburns are no fun either! You also have to be wary of your mom friends who don't have red haired babies, because they don't understand! I felt very frustrated that day because we were at the beach with a friend whose son is not a redhead, and whenever I would try to get Em to come out of the water so I could reapply sunscreen, she would tell me, "Oh, he'll be fine, let him play." Now I know to stand my ground, and say, "No, he will NOT be fine, he has red hair! And anyway, you won't be the one who gets in trouble when you bring him home with a sunburn!" 

Their sensitive skin aside, I adore my little red haired babies, my little gremlins, I like to call them. They fill my days with so much wonder and joy. Watching them grow and play together (how Zephyr loves his big brother) is nothing short of magical ✨

Carrie Close, "Wonder Mom!"

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