“Come sit right here,” I say as I pat my hand on the sofa cushion. She sits with her back to me. Her pink hairbrush with a big white “K” on the back is in my right hand and I begin brushing a group of strands on the right side of her head.
Wavy, so wavy and thinner than mine ever was. I often say, “Whose hair is this?!” Well, it’s hers of course…
I work my way around, trying to be gentle with the parts that are extra stringy and potentially a bit tangled. I don’t want to hurt her but tonight she never once says “Ow!”, even when I think she might.
Once I am done with one go ’round I continue brushing her perfectly highlighted-by-the-summer-sun, little girl hair. I marvel at its beauty and multitude of shades. I smooth it down with my hand to feel the now softness. I bring her head towards mine to take in the scent. I say “all done” but still get in a few more strokes before her body leans into mine and there we are mother and daughter, just like I always wanted.
I literally choke on this feeling as the tears well up in my eyes and my hand lands on the side of her growing-longer-everyday leg. We sit there like that for a bit, as a single tear escapes from each of my eyes. This mother and daughter love fills up the empty parts of me, wherever they may be.
Then I think of my own mother and how one of her nicknames for me used to be “Goldilocks Girl”. My hair was completely different than hers, blond and more fine. She still brushed it and put it in pig tails. Thought fine, it was so thick it was like its own entity. I know she probably cursed the tangles a few times under her breath, just to herself.
My thoughts move on to what it must have been like for my mom to have me. After three boys and so many years, there I was. A girl. A daughter.
Did I throw a wrench in her and my Dad’s plans? Was I the best surprise ever or a stressful one, at least at first? Was I ever looked at as anything than a blessing? Did her wish finally come true? To have a daughter of her own. Did she feel like her family was complete?
I cannot answer those questions because I am not her. What I do know is that the “hair brushing”moments are something that I treasure the most from my own childhood, and now in my daughters’ as well. My mom used to say “one hundred strokes” was the magic number of times to brush your hair, every night. So we would count and then it would be so soft…
My thoughts move back to my own little girl, as I continue to thank the heavens for her.
I can picture us together, when she’s older and things are starting to change for her. I am behind her, brushing her beautiful golden hair, that is more like mine than I realized, and we’ll talk about life. She won’t have to face me while she talks about a boy she likes or a friend who wasn’t really acting like one. She can just tell me. Sure, she’ll be old enough to brush her own hair (she is now… shhhh….) but I will insist anyway. Because someday she’ll be gone and have to do it on her own.
Thank goodness today is not yet “someday”.
Her birthday is coming up soon… she will be 6 years old. I was looking back through posts a couple of weeks before she was born and this one made me smile… So glad she really WAS a girl!