Today, while I was working, N asked, “will you shampoo my hair?” “Later,” I told her.
While I was frantically cleaning for our dinner company, “will you shampoo my hair?” “Later,” I told her again.
While our friends were over for dinner, “will you shampoo my hair?” “Not right now, later,” I said once again, truly feeling a bit exasperated by this point.
All day, I knew that I needed to be a person of integrity for her. Not one who says “later” and then never finds the time. But, someone who sticks to her word. I didn’t quite get the big deal with washing her hair, but it clearly was important to her. So, as everyone was brushing teeth and putting on pajamas, I said, “do you want to shampoo your hair now?” “YES!!!”
So, I pulled the chair up to the sink, grabbed the shampoo and forced a smile on my face, despite how ready I was for bedtime.
As I began to pour the water over the head, I saw her squeeze her eyes closed and I asked, “is the water too hot?” “No.” And then, I saw her smile. The kind that says “I am treasuring this moment.” I gently lathered the soap into her hair and rubbed her scalp. When I was done, I brushed her hair, then cupped her face in my hands and kissed her forehead. A huge smile crossed her face that said more than all of our broken language has.
For me, it was another thing on today’s checklist. For N, it was a moment that she may have never had before: a mother to gently wash her hair, to take care of her and pamper her. That is what hosting needs to be for most of the kids– smoothing out the rough edges of forced independence and giving them experiences of nourishing and nurturing that they haven’t had before. A shower and a bottle of shampoo? Yes, she could have done it herself. But, she wasn’t looking for clean hair. She was looking for someone to take the time to focus on and care for her.
These photos have nothing to do with the shampoo story, but I can’t share a blog post without photos. 🙂
A friend gave us this awesome little sprinkler. It was a big hit!
Gus got a scraped knee, made better by Olaf. Gus did the best rendition of “Do you want to build a snowman?” the other day while Lena was in the bathroom, complete with knocking, sliding down the door and clucking his tongue. I only wish I had it on video.