Hair- A Love Story

I love to braid hair.
I can’t tell you how many other peoples children whose hair I’ve braided for dance recitals or school photos.
“You need to have a girl of your own!” The moms would say.
When I thought that I was finished having children after my sons were born, I would wonder what it would be like to have a daughter, if only to braid her beautiful, long hair.
As The Rhythm Method would have it, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant 7 years after having what I deemed “My Last Child!”
A girl.
A daughter.
And as nervous as I was about mothering a daughter (due to the complicated relationship I have with my own mother) I was THRILLED that I would be able to braid hair EVERY SINGLE DAY if I wanted to.
Of COURSE, MY daughter didn’t like for me to braid her hair.
“I WANT TO WEAR IT STRAIGHT DOWN!” she has said in dramatic fashion on more than one hair brushing session.
I thought about cutting her hair into a cute little bob because what’s the fun of having a daughter with long hair if I can’t braid it? My husband had to talk me out of chopping it all off on more than one occasion.
Eventually, she grew out of the “NO BRAIDS!” phase. Almost every morning, I put her hair into a braid of some kind. Sometimes a fancy braid. Sometimes a regular ol’ french braid.
It’s time consuming, for sure. Even if she wears it down, it takes what feels like FOREVER to blow dry. And every night I have to put it in a braid so it doesn’t wrap around her neck or get tangled while she sleeps.
Not to mention the fights we’ve had over her hair. Remember The Great Bangs Drama of 2008? OH DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, I DO.
I’ve thought about cutting it. She would look adorable with a bob!
But here’s the thing.
I have become attached to her long hair. It’s beautiful, with it’s soft, shiny, golden, highlights. I love the way that it smells after I dry it in the evenings. I love running my fingers through it when she’s reading her kindergarten books to me at night. I love watching her “style it” when she’s playing dress up.
I know the day will come when she’ll tell me she wants short hair. And I will agree and we’ll cut it off. Because “It’s only hair!” right? But I’ve come to realize why it means so much to me. That long, beautiful hair of hers reminds me every day of something that I never thought I’d have in my life.
A daughter.
beautiful light. beautiful girl.

35 thoughts on “Hair- A Love Story

  1. pom.

    I love this! I am the surprised mom of a daughter – always imagining myself with a boy and imagining how awkward I might be with a girl and oh, she’s just lovely.

  2. Aunt Becky

    Every day–every SINGLE day–I wake up and I am so thankful that I was graced with a daughter. ME! I have a DAUGHTER. It makes me misty just to think about it.

  3. holly

    How in the world do you do that braid in the photo? I have seen lots of french braids in my time, but never like THAT! It looks awesome. You must point me to an instructional website or something. 🙂

  4. Amira @

    That was a beautiful story, beautiful braid, and of course beautiful little girl.
    I have son and if I get pregnant again, I’m nervous of it being a girl, but this post makes a mother daughter bond seem so very special.
    And I’d like that.

  5. Debbie

    Like Holly, I want to know how you did that braid! I can French braid, but not like that. It’s beautiful! And I’m like you… two boys, not supposed to have anymore. We tried for 3-1/2 years, only giving up when testing showed that we weren’t supposed to be able to get pregnant without using IVF. 4 months later, I was pregnant… due on my deceased mom’s birthday… with the girl my mom always wanted me to have. A sign from above. And like your girl, she’s beautiful, sweet, loving, independent. We did cut her hair short a couple of years ago at her request, but immediately she wanted to grow it back out, and now it’s midway down her back. I love to style it. 🙂

  6. TJ

    Can you come live in my house please? I promise – if you’ll braid it, it will take me less than a year to grow it back down to my butt. And? I do the math.

  7. Timothea

    I go through the same hair battles with my daughter, she hates even having her hair brushed! When the time comes for ‘the haircut’ you could donate your girls beautiful hair to locks of love, it might make it easier? We are trying to have the patience to grow it long enough so my daughter can donate, I think they want 10 inches.

  8. Mary

    I grew up the only girl with four brothers. I yearned for a girl. Had two sons, and husband thought we were finished. AHEM. My daughter is 12 now, and I adore her. I never stop being grateful for her, even when she is acting like a 12 year old. I wish I could braid as well as you can. Fortunately, my sister in law can, so my daughter gets to feel girly on occasion.

  9. Debi

    When I was pregnant with my son (thankthelord) I used to pray, “Please give me a boy – I don’t know how to braid hair!” So happy you have been blessed to braid lady.

  10. Starr

    Awww, cute! In that 2nd pic, she looks just like her older brothers! 🙂 It’s adorable that they have some of the same facial expressions!

  11. Beverly

    You’re daughter is beautiful…and your braids…oh my!
    My daughter is 12. She was born when our boys were 6 and 8. Not a day passes that I don’t still pinch myself with disbelief that I have a daughter!
    (Her hair is short…I don’t braid…and it’s still magical!)

  12. marjorie

    Oh (sniffle) that is so sweet! I too have two daughters, now grown up, and I ATTEMPTED to French braid their hair, but I could never get it to look as good as Gabby’s does. Somehow there were always little strands that escaped the braiding, and what was I supposed to do with them? I didn’t know, so sometimes I gelled them down!

  13. Beth

    Love the pics…. such a beautiful girl! Such beautiful hair, too!
    Wonderful post… made me smile and recall my own mom braiding my hair when I was young. =)

  14. Nicki

    I wish I had your braiding talent…or patience. It no longer matters since my daughter is fifteen and quite capable of doing her own hair in any number of wild styles. Enjoy these moments as I know you do!

  15. Ruthie

    If you do decide to cut it, you can donate it to “locks of love” They make wigs and hair pieces for children with a rare disorder and cannot grow their own hair. They have a web site with all the information about donating. My 17 yr. old daughter just donated 10 inches. She was so used to having really long hair for so long, but she looks great with her new hair cut.

  16. Lar

    What a sweet post! Growing up, I LOVED to play with my dolls’ hair and joked many times that I only wanted daughters so I could play with their hair. I am the proud mother of two daughters, and both of them HATE having their hair done. They will barely tolerate a bobby pin, and forget braids. Curls? No way. *sigh*

  17. Kristy

    I love posts from Mommy’s who speak of grattitude for the priviledge of having a child. They are refreshing beyond belief. She’s lovely….long hair or no hair. She’s just lovely.

  18. Lena

    Those last pics? OMG. Beautiful. They need to be on your wall. With those crooked pictures I’m supposed to come help you with. HAHAHAHA

  19. maya

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.
    I guess my bonding hair moment with my girls will be to teach them how to maintain their afros!

  20. Jessie

    Girl! I love to braid hair, and go figure have all boys. My girlfriends bring their daughters to my house before soccer games on Saturdays so I can french braid pigtails for them. I feel you on loving to braid! 🙂

  21. Roni

    Beautiful girl! BTW, YOU can grow your own hair, you know. I started at 42, my hair is beautiful and my DH is insane about it. One disagreement: I don’t trust Locks of Love.

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