Many times as a child, my mother's hair was a source of play. When I was a young girl, I use to brush it, curl it, and style it with whatever decorative clips I had laying around. As a teenager, I found joy in dying my mother's hair and creating beautiful up-dos before we dashed off to the symphony for a mother daughter evening.
As a mother of a nine year old and three year old, I am often the source of my own daughter's fun. Many days my husband arrives home and utters, "girls got to you, didn't they?" This often happens with hair, make-up, and the occasional nail polish. I often proudly reply, "yup."
Since my mother has moved in with us, I am recalling many memories more and more. The times when I would comb and brush and brush and comb her hair as she allowed me to have my fun. Nowadays, I want to have fond memories, but it is very difficult to allow the happiness in. I would be lying if I said that I was taking things in stride. Truth be told, most days I feel sick to my stomach. My mother worked full time when we were growing up. She always managed to get things taken care of. Sure, there were times when things didn't go smoothly or we very much did not see eye to eye, but she was always capable of doing her own thing. Now, doing her own thing takes on a whole new meaning.
What brings the memories of styling my mother's hair about? Recently, I cut her hair. I was hoping to accomplish a few different things, create a more manageable length and set her up to be cooler once the warm months did finally decide to show up. The other day, after setting her up for her shower, I decided that I was going to style her hair, even if it was something simple. I knew her mother and sister would be coming to visit, and I wanted her to look nice. So, I took to braiding her hair, and that's when the memory came back. I use to do this as a kid, when I was dependent on her for nearly everything in my life. Now, she is dependent on me and my husband for nearly everything in her life. I had that sick feeling in my stomach again, and I wondered "can I do this"? Am I prepared for what is going to come in the next few years of our lives? Truth is, no, I am not. BUT, this is my mother's God given right, to have someone take care of her, and I am the best woman for the job. Not to knock anyone else, my sibling included.
Overall, I am thankful to have a husband who understands this. He has the same values and beliefs, and simply replies, "you would do the same for me." And I would, I would in a heart beat because we are family...we are best friends, a relationship that takes us far beyond lovers. Now, I am off to make sure hair is brushed, teeth are brushed, clothes clean, and any other needs in our blessed home are taken care of.