We braid now. We are finding the time.
Like my mom braided for me on Friday nights when she’d race home from the city after five days apart. Like she’d do for me Sunday mornings before church, even if we were running late.
I hated the braids, actually. Hated the hurt of it all. I didn’t even really like the end result. But while we detangled hair, we detangled time.
I’ve always come back to braiding as a good excuse.
Even when I was curling up in the fetal position at 24 years of age on my mom’s bed in labour with Wren, I asked mom to braid my hair. Because if there was ever a time I needed her, it was just then.
My long hair meant long braids, and so, I’ve always been sneaking these long moments together. It should come as no coincidence, then, that now when I’ve never been busier is when Wren has begun asking me to braid her hair.
She used to refuse it- shampooing, brushing, the whole thing. But I catch glimpses of her these days when she seems too mature to be mine. When all that she has become seems too far removed from the day I laboured with her and my mom braided my hair, and too far removed certainly from when my mom braided my hair for me when I was Wren’s age, nearing seven.
We catch a moment today before her sister rises, and so I’m parting her hair down the middle yet again, for the third time this week. I won’t say no.
Though it pulls and pains, she’s seven now. She knows now that it’s never been, and never will be, about the hair.