Friday, April 20, 2012

Doing Hair

Every morning in our house, we do hair. A cosmic and genetic formulation imbued my children with ringlets that, left untamed, resemble the rough street urchin cast in Annie. Spray, mousse, brush, then pin, bow, braid, or pony. At two, the youngest understands this ritual, and stands quietly between my knees. The only time of the day that this occurs. Otherwise, she is whirling and unsuccessfully hopping; although she exclaims “Hop!” only one foot leaves the ground. Her other foot firmly prevents her from flying. She yells “Wook!” and points at the passing garbage truck. Yells “Wohm!” and thrusts her cupped palm toward me, featuring an overly-squeezed, dead worm. As I work a wide-toothed comb through my eldest’s thick layers of curls, I realize that my back is no longer bent, and that it’s becoming more difficult to part her hair because, as I sit behind her, I can no longer see the top of her head. As she gazes at some interminable cartoon, I comb my tears into her hair, in hopes that it will stop her from growing. But they will just make her stronger. And her hair will grow longer, more lovely, and when I’m finished, she will face me, see my tears, and ask whether I have a boo-boo. Yes, my dove, but you make it all better.

1 comment:

  1. This weekend we attended a wedding in San Diego. A night wedding; the kind where food is served around 8pm. By the time the dance floor started going, 5-year old Avery was asleep in her Daddy's arms. Legs dangling, face pink, twirly dress all askew. I announced at that moment that this was likely THE VERY LAST TIME this would ever happen. I'm quite confident of that. He was happy to sit with her, just as he has since she was born, and said he will miss this part of being a parent. The crazy thing is, the finality of it doesn't bother me. I did a lot of holding, cradling, softly rocking for years, and I was obsessed with being present to it. And now, I'm all filled up. I no longer yearn for a baby in my arms. This feels good to me, but then, because I seem to be the only person who feels this way, I'm also a tad alarmed that it's another indicator of a festering black heart. :)