My Daughter’s Hair

I can remember when it started: a summer evening on the patio, visiting with the neighbors and admiring the view. My parents were staying with us, I think. I glanced down at Eleanor’s baby bird fuzz, damp with humidity, and thought I saw it: the merest suggestion of a curl.

Or maybe it was before that, when I was pushing, and the midwife announced she could see the head, and that there was A Lot of Dark Hair. I pushed harder, with wonder, and surprise. (My first baby, after all, looked like this.)

Or maybe it was when I learned I was expecting a girl, and thought, “I have got to learn how to French braid!”

My mom has always made me feel like my hair is beautiful. In many ways, our hair is alike: just-brown, glossy, baby fine. (My sister’s is as straight as mine, but thicker and darker, and less persistently dirty.) Mom’s is wavier, whereas mine is made for bobs alone.

Of course, what I always wanted was curls, and a disastrous perm at 20 finally taught me that isn’t to be. And while Eleanor’s may bring her many frustrations in the future, it will always fill her mama’s heart with gladness.

My own sweet curly girl.

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Author: Katherine Grimm Bowers

Babies. Books. Fledgling housewifery. Once and future librarian. Catholic. Always thinking about chocolate ice cream.

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