My son is African American and Jewish, and he has a big, curly, reddish head of hair that I want him to love and embrace. I am simply trying to teach him where his curly hair came from. I want him to be proud of his Black heritage and his Jewish heritage. I can’t tell you how many times a day I say to him, “I love your hair!” Every morning we brush his hair and I look in the mirror and I say, “Moses, how cool is your hair? You are so unique and you are so special.” It’s an affirmation that we all need, even at age 50. We talk so much about teaching self-appreciation to girls, and rightfully so. But as the mom of a son, one of the things I have learned in this 21-monthlong journey with this awesome little guy, is that it’s necessary to have the same conversations with boys so they can appreciate themselves — and support women along the way. That is how we move forward. — As told to Elizabeth Siegel
Amanda Kloots with son Elvis
It’s hard being a single, working mom. There are a lot of times where I’ll have a teeth whitener on when I’m playing with Elvis or a face mask on while I’m getting him ready. I always like to start off our mornings with music and movement. Both are very healing and a positive way to start the day. It’s definitely a ritual in our household — and I hope that Elvis continues to do it for the rest of his life. Right now, he is in that stage where he likes to copy whatever I’m doing. So, when I brush my teeth, I hand Elvis his toothbrush, we “cheers,” and then start brushing our teeth [together]. And now whenever he is in the bathroom, he goes and grabs his “ba-brush.” I think he loves the taste of the toothpaste the most [laughs], but anything to get him in the habit of good hygiene. — As told to P.S.
A version of this story originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Allure. Learn how to subscribe here.