Monday, June 6, 2011

A Memory Braided with Love

Today’s prompt from The Write Prompts asked for a personal journal about how I wore my hair as a child. I wrote down this memory. It's good to challenge myself with writing different from what I usually do. This one made me smile.

I watch my mother in the mirror as she plaits my hair. Her hands move deftly. She separates and weaves the long strands into a French braid. Usually I would relax into the memories of the many times she has braided my hair, but today I perch on the edge of my chair.

I just received the call from my doctor. “Jimi, it’s time,” she said. Such simple words, but they start my heart racing. My life will soon be changed forever.

The tugging of Mom’s hands in my hair is comfortingly familiar. I feel calmer now. She has been braiding, curling, or pulling my hair up in pigtails for as long as I can remember. When I was in grade school, her limitless creativity created butterfly antennae out of my hair, braided onto wires. Mom sewed beautiful, purple butterfly wings, but the crowning glory was my waving golden antennae. Though older now, I still take advantage of the rare opportunity to have my mother braid my hair.

Mom reaches the end of the braid and I hand her a hair band to tie the end. Each plait bears the essence of her love, care, and prayers. Today I will do the hardest work of my life. Mom’s braid will keep my hair out of my face as I labor. My hands move to caress the taut, roundness of my belly. I feel my baby’s strong movements. Soon I will meet my son. I am eager to hold him in my arms.

My mom will be there as I become a mother. I love you, Mom. Though I will not braid his hair as my mom does mine, I will find other ways to let him know. I love you, son.