Caramel-colored strands of hair cascade down a back clothed in pink. With long, smooth strokes I brush. The tangles are long gone, but she is engrossed in her book and I can’t will myself to move, so still I brush.
Breathing in the fresh scent of strawberry shampoo and reveling in this quiet moment together. Well, it would be quiet but for the soothing whir of the hair dryer. Again and again I brush, sweep, tousle, dry and in my heart I am transported back in time.
Sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce (at a time when we called it something else and that was ok), on a matted, semi-shag green rug. The mustard-yellow hair dryer whirring about my head as I twist the ouchie-comb with the long, thin handle around in my fingers.
Then its the king-sized bed in the room with the floor-to-ceiling fabric “wallpaper” as I sit and talk with mom for hours on end asking question after question about how daddy proposed; how did you know he was the one; how do you shave your legs; did you always want kids.
Then its the cold, paper-covered table in the darkened doctor’s office. There’s whirring here, too, but this time its a softer hum more akin to a kitten’s purr than a freight train. And the bubbling brook of laughter that spilled from my heart and out my mouth as the sonogram technician slowly typed G – I – R – L on the screen.
I had always, always wanted a daughter.
And had always expected sons.
Now, here I sit bookended by my daughters. One with caramel hair, deep thoughts, and soft heart. The other with golden sunshine for hair, a song in her heart, and a joy for others’ happiness I’ve not seen before.
How on earth am I so blessed?
And how on earth do I take this for granted nearly every minute of everyday?
This moment, however, I will not give in to guilt. Or sorrow. Or should haves. This moment I will breathe it in. Run my fingers through it. Snuggle it close. And bask in the warmth of my sweet girls. And my heart will shout to the rafters a thank you only the heart of a mother could voice – no words could do justice – and only the Heart of a Father could understand.