As I was combing tangles out of my daughter’s curly hair the other night, I caught a glimpse of us in the mirror. Her chubby two-and-a-half-year-old body snuggly sitting on my lap, perfectly fitting into the gap between my crossed legs. Her never-cut hair springing back into a curl after my comb glides through it. Her teeny kitten voice singing a made-up song. I remember standing in the first floor bathroom of my parents’ house as my mother sprayed “No More Tears” into my hair, combing away tangles as I stared at myself into the mirror, singing a made-up song. Even when I was young, as mother did my hair or let me play with her makeup, I had always imagined the day I’d spend “girly” time with my own daughter.
And here I am, every night after bath, combing the tiny knots out of my daughter’s hair.
It’s so simple, yet so beautiful.
We’ve all been sick for months. Regular colds, infections, illnesses. I haven’t felt myself lately. And when I can’t even enjoy a cup of coffee on a crisp fall day because I’m so tired or dizzy or my throat hurts, it reminds me just how enchanted those everyday moments are.
So I don’t take for granted time spent with my daughter, even when she tries to run away while my comb is caught on a snarl. I breathe in deeply and swallow each instant whole, hoping to keep them with me forever. Like when my son says, “Me love you so much, Mommy, and you love me so much, Mommy,” or when I witness my daughter rub her brother’s head and say, “It’s OK, honey,” to comfort him or when I hear my son tell my husband, “Let’s roughhouse!” So normal. So routine. So trite, even. Maybe what you’d see on a family-oriented sitcom in the 90s. For sure some Full House scenes. But when you realize how much you’ve taken your own health for granted, you realize you take these loving moments for granted too.
And I don’t want to do that.
I want to step back and look at every mirror image and capture it in my mind. I want to be present. I want to see everyday moments as magic.