Fuzzball. That’s what they called me for a time back in elementary school.
My mother did my hair for me in the morning, brushing it, then pulling the front back and securing it with a barrette. I remember how tight it felt — Mom never did anything by half measures — and I’m sure my eyebrows were a half inch above their normal position when I left for school. As the day went on, especially in the latter part of the school year when summer weather taunted us through the windows of the hot and stuffy classroom, my hair would start to escape its bonds. Before long, I’d have a halo of frizz. And since kids are masters at seizing on just the right nicknames, magnifying quirks or embarrassing characteristics, Fuzzball I became.
Fast-forwarding to my fifties, that frizz is back. In fact, this is the frizziest my hair has ever been, like a dandelion on steroids going to seed, and you could say that my mother is behind this fuzzball renaissance.
Mom died last year in June, after being diagnosed with cancer ten months earlier. Afterwards my brother and I had two scant months to complete the daunting task of clearing out her house and disposing of our parents’ possessions. It was hard, hot work and I spent much of the summer away from my home and family. By the end of that long, difficult year I was physically and emotionally ground down. Exhausted. Raw.
And then it happened.
My hair started falling out. The long hair that had taken me years to grow. It entangled my fingers in the shower and clogged drains. Combs and brushes were filled with it. Blonde strands clung to my clothing, and the house looked like a shaggy Golden Retriever was in residence. My naturopath diagnosed my hair loss as stress related. With her help I was able to turn the situation around, and I’m thankful that the hair I lost is growing back.
Now that it’s summer again, and my hair is in a ponytail most of the time, I have frizz the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. All that new hair, thick in some places, is still short enough to stick up and out and sideways, and long enough to look outlandish. Sometimes I feel like an overgrown eight-year-old.
I don’t like the way it looks, but I like what it stands for: a return to normal life, acceptance and peace.
So this summer, when the weather is hot and muggy, you may find me sitting on the veranda of the urban cottage eating one of these tangy strawberry yogourt smoothie pops for relief from the heat. With my frozen treat dripping and my nimbus of hair glowing in the summer sun, I’ll be feeling like a kid again.
Fuzzball has returned.
Strawberry Yogourt Smoothie Pops
Made with unsweetened yogourt and just a bit of honey, these smoothie pops are full of strawberry flavour and tangy. I think that adds to their refreshing quality and their appeal to kids both young and not so young.
- about 2 cups small to medium whole strawberries
- 1 cup Greek yogourt, plain
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetness level if needed. Pour the mixture into frozen treat moulds and freeze until set. (I had enough left over for a small smoothie to reward me for my efforts.)
Enjoy on a hot day and feel like a kid again.