Harper hates keeping his socks and shoes on. He often has at least one foot bare before I pull out the driveway for our morning commute. As an infant he can’t comprehend why it’s important for him to keep his little feet covered and warm during the cooler months in New England.
It’s not just infants whom fail to recognize the importance of daily care. As young girls my sister and I hated getting our hair washed and combed. This was usually an all day affair. Our mother insisted on this ritual even though she’d complain about us breaking her back. We’d both have to endure shampooing, conditioning, blow drying, the parting and greasing of the scalps, then of course sitting still for what felt like forever to have the hair parted and gathered in small sections for braids or twists with colorful clips secured at the end. I of course was often threatened to not lose these small colorful clips (which I always did).
I remember our mother would keep reminding us to sit still so her parting wouldn’t come out crooked. My sister and I wouldn’t care if our hair was parted crooked or not. “Just hurry” we’d think as we often had more interesting things to do with our time. Dolls, coloring and playing outside would forever top our list of favorite activities over getting our hair washed, dried and combed!
When my sister started middle school our mother eased up her hair regimen for my sister. My sister pushed to not have her waist length hair combed in a myriad of colorful barrets and clips. My mom often worked two jobs back then and must have also found relief in doing one less head of hair.
My sister reveled in her new found independence. She always went to school with her long hair slicked back into a low ponytail with a neatly pinned bun. If you didn’t know her you’d never guess she had long fluffy hair as she never wore it down.
What my mother didn’t know was my sister never fully combed out her hair between ponytails. She’d often just comb and brush the circumference of her head, never really tackling the long thick hair beyond that. Often-between working long shifts my mother would see my sister’s hair neatly pulled back-no cause for concern.
On one of her day’s off she called us to her. She wanted to give our hair a proper wash and deep condition. My sister hesitantly loosened her ponytail. My sister’s hair fell way before her shoulder blades, long and dark. My mom grabbed a wide toothed comb and began to comb her hair root to tip. Her hand stopped mid motion. The comb couldn’t run smoothly through my sister’s long locs.
It was stuck.
My mother was shocked. Without my mother knowing, a bundle of hair had interlocked in the back of my sisters head! Our normal wash and comb routine was smashed to smithereens!
My mother spent forever combing out a huge loc of hair she didn’t even know existed in my sister’s head. She lamented throughout the whole (sometimes painful) process of untangling her long thick hair (I guess one may argue my sister was the first “dread head” in the family!).
Like infant Harper, my preteen sister wasn’t able to see the importance of a parent’s guidance. Now, as an adult; there are things that’s happened in my life where my mother’s wisdom wasn’t taken seriously at the time her wise words were spoken.
I’ve found myself going back and saying, “Mom, you were right”.
Have you ever experienced this dear reader? Please share. Blessings.