The room was dark and quiet, the early morning wintery light still a distant thought. She crawled under the covers against me, wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered softy “mamma, are you sleeping? Will you help me braid my hair?”. My heart filled with warmth and a smile spread through me. This girl child of mine, my baby, the youngest of my pride of five, and most fiercely independent was asking for help with her hair….Four big, strapping sons blessed my life before La-Lu made her surprise appearance. I was certain this lovely doll and I would play together for hours. I pictured fancy tea parties, frothy dresses, putting her hair into delightfully girly dos, bows, tiaras…the works. La-Lu had her own ideas and plans, and she had her own definition of what girly meant to her. She would be my teacher and my guide along this path. I learned when she was 5, small, fiery, energetic, determined and unafraid of the world, that I was not allowed to help with anything. She educated me stridently on this point when ever I saw her struggling to do something and offered assistance. She would scrunch up her brows in concentration, focused on the task she had selected and meticulously set to figuring out how to solve or to create or to destroy something on her own. She chose her own wardrobe. If I so much as smiled at an outfit, it was gone. She did her own hair. If I tried to smooth the hard to reach part at the very back of her head, she would react as though I had tried to set fire to her body. It was futile to fight it; this child had a mind of her own. A wonderful, brilliant, strong willed mind of her own. I have no doubt she will rule the world given half the chance, and the inkling to do so. This delighted me. As soon as I made my peace with the fact that my children would be the captains of their own souls, I began to delight in earnest in each child as they unfurled before me. Yet, there are little moments when their guard has dropped, when the small, sweet babe from their earliest days peeks out from beneath the brooding eyes of their teenaged self and they stretch out their hand for mine. “Can you help me?” she asks. I pull my fingers through her long silky hair, fragrant from shampoo, as she chatters about this friend and that class, about what she hopes for, and what she has planned this day. I weave her hair in simple plaits, tying them behind her ears with small bands. She surveys my handiwork and kisses me and runs off, earbuds reengaged, singing along to a song I can’t hear, and out into the world. My answer will always be yes.
Blogger, life enthusiast, queen of chaos. Author and star of #closertocrazy, and Hairbeast Productions. I live in north central Massachusetts on a tiny misshapen, entirely accidental farm. Life is always an adventure! Available for freelance writing and social media Brand Building consultation Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss projects and fees View all posts by lastlaughliz