My hair! My dad insisted that little girls had long hair. To that end, my hair was to never be cut. My mother, a beautician, had other thoughts about little girls’ hair, especially little girls who were ‘wild things’. Every morning I would have to stand still while she would battle to put my golden tresses into braids. Apparently my hair went wild in my sleep.
What torture! What pain! As she untangled the snarls she would mutter under her breath about my hair, my wild ways and how she should just cut it all off. The frustration would be taken out on my scalp. I was not to yell or cry during this punishing morning hygienic ritual. To do so would only make it worse. Once the snarls were out, she’d make those braids as tight as she could hoping to restrain my hair if not me.
Poor mom, it wasn’t to be. I well remember one morning, after struggling with my hair, she came out to hang clothes on the line about 20 minutes later. I came running up to her excited to show her some bit of nature I had found (I don’t remember what as it became secondary in importance) and I’ll never forget the look on her face as she turned to look at me.
My mother looked as if she were about to cry. For all her hard work was nearly undone in the space of a few minutes! The tightly pulled braids were already coming loose. Hair was sticking out all over, some to my forehead, some to my neck, and I, I was pulling at one wild hair that had stuck to my cheek.