I have three younger brothers. I have two older sisters. I did not grow up with my sisters, just my three little brothers. My mother died when I was nine. My grandmother raised the four of us the best she could. Braiding hair was not part of the program.
My hair was mostly brushed and off I went. When I got older, I had a friend who had beautiful hair. Together one day, we read Teen magazine and saw the instructions for french braids. That was the start of my braiding services. I braided her hair often. I practiced on her, myself and well anyone that I could, never realizing years later with three daughters, that skill would be in constant demand.
Fast forward to three daughters with long hair. Years I have spent more time, french braiding, fishtailing, regular braiding, mixing braid styles, braiding for curls, braiding to stop bed head, braiding for parties, braiding friends hair, etc…
I guess I am writing about this because just the other day, as I was braiding my sweet granddaughter’s hair, I reflected back to my own messy hair days, when I read that article in Teen magazine about french braids and how I would rush home from work, I have always worked the nightshift, to braid my girls hair before school, how it has come full circle for me in a way.
Now, I get to braid their hair for the pure joy of it. When my daughters come to me and without saying a word, I know they want Mama to braid their hair and well, it may seem trivial, but when I braid their hair, I am able to talk with them, ask how their day is going. I get to feel their beautiful hair in my hands and revel in their beauty.
So, when I get a chance, I braid their hair. I might act like its a big fuss, but inside, I am so happy that I can still this connection with my girls, ( I even braided my son’s hair in his long hair phase). It seems as though I have passed this down to my girls. I see my daughter braiding her girl’s hair the same way I did, quick and precise to get the job done and off to the next adventure.
I get to braid their hair for the pure joy of it. Any chance to brush, part and figure a way to have it look the best is an opportunity I will always take. Daughters, granddaughters, friends, family. It is a form of bonding. Bringing us together one braid at a time.