When I was four years old, my dad took me to his girlfriend’s house so she could braid my hair. Bless my Dad’s heart. He had no idea that I was tender headed.
The braids were so intricate and pretty though. It took an entire eternity for them to be done. You know, in the life of a four year old, 5 minutes of sitting still is the equivalent of 5 whole years. Show me a patient four year old and I will call it a unicorn!
It wasn’t just the braids that were super nice, she added beads on the ends. Every little girl knows how beads can enhance your entire life. You couldn't tell me I wasn't cute. Every time i swung my head, mostly on purpose, my hair would sing this sweet little song that reminded me of childgirlhood and innocence.
One full day later, my scalp was still quite tight, but NEVER too tight to prohibit me from making music with my beads.
As my dad was dropping me off to my mom’s on Sunday evening, as per their arrangement, my heart overflowed with excitement for my mom to see my hair. I knew she was going to think it was beautiful! I knew she would be annoyed by my constant swinging. I knew she would be happy because she didn’t have to braid my hair because it was already done. I had, and still have, a ton of hair for no good reason!
Much to my surprise I was met at the door by a very upset mother. She screamed on my father for letting someone put their hands in my hair. Now, I will say this, my mother was NOT playing about our hair. She was very adamant about “letting our lil friends play in our hair” and being sure to bring home every barrett that I left the house with. So, in a way, I get it. But in the larger grand scheme of things way - I don’t.
She snatched each and every one of my beads out of my hair. Standing on the porch, head already sore and heartbroken that she didn’t like my hair, all I could do is cry. I watched all of the beautiful beads that had brought me so much joy over the past day and a half fall to the ground in what seemed like a thunderous downpour.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. It is a memory that is etched in my mind forever. I remember the sound of the beads clanging against each other. I remember feeling like a musical instrument. I remember seeing all of the beads fall to the ground. I felt like I had done something wrong; as if I had some responsibility in this matter.
Her anger wasn‘t toward me, but I caught it. She was not upset with me, but she took it out on me.
There’s nothing peculiar about recalling a memory this vividly. This event helped to shape and mold the way I think, for a very long time. I will never forget what happened or how it made me feel.
Children don’t forget. Especially when they’re young and impressionable and the things they are exposed to make decisions about them before they can make decisions about themselves.
It pains me to see children endure traumatic experience by the hands of careless and thoughtless adults. Children are precious, innocent creatures. They are literally mini angels. They come into this world needing basics and those basics include unconditional love.
They say train a child up in the way he should go - that means all the time not just when you’re not mad at the kids daddy.
Photo Cred : https://hairstylehub.com/25-black-girl-hairstyles/
**Written while sitting in the parking lot waiting for my brother to finish filing a police report after he was assaulted by his kid's mother's boyfriend in front of my nephew. My heart bleeds for him.