While it’s not a pre-requisite to be a black mama and know how to braid it’s pretty close. I don’t know how many side eyes I’ve received when I admitted to not knowing how to braid. I get it because there is something about being nestled between thick thighs with your head resting on the lap of a woman who is intertwining the tiniest pieces of your hair while oiling your scalp that turns into your own piece of personal art. If it wasn’t your momma braiding your hair it was a homegirl talking smack and it all feels like home.
I want more than anything to share this with my baby girl. I never learned how to braid, my sister, my homegirls, almost everyone I know can work magic with cornrows. I’ve tried but my hands have yet to really find their way. I was blessed two years ago to have the most beautiful, spirited, princess of a girly girl that loves dressing up, wants to wear “lipsticks” and loves to have her hair done. “Mommy make me beautiful hair like yours and Marley’s (her best friend ever) is something I hear from her regularly. She loves laying on the kitchen sink to have her hair washed and massaged, she loves the plastic bag that covers her hair with conditioner and she will sit patiently and reasonably still to have me do her hair. All that was missing was the ability to hook up some beautiful cornrows.
I must say that Monday a day after my birthday I braided her hair in cornrows that I was proud of. Babygirl lets me practice on her but often I get frustrated because my fingers always get tangled and her hair always looks bootlegged so I go back to the trusty twists or puffs that have her looking cute and ready to go.
Something happened this weekend after watching my girl braid Marley’s hair. I watched, she let me show her how I do my braid in Marley’s hair and she gave a few pointers that I got but still couldn’t really force my fingers to do. The next day I set out to figure it out and do a similar upsweep braided style on baby girl and after about 90 minutes I did it. It wasn’t perfect but it was a great start that put a smile on both mine and baby girls face and had me registering my first big win for the year. Baby steps yall, I am celebrating small wins daily. The big wins are few and far apart right now but I am grateful to have put a smile on my babies face and to have been able to create using the black girls medium of choice, hair.
I did that!