I Found Kindness and Gratitude at the Other End of a Hairbrush

“You ready to have your hair brushed mama?” was the question that greeted me as I arrived home from work yesterday afternoon.

This may well be the sweetest development in our 4.5 years together.


Monday evening, as my girl was playing with my hair like she does, I asked her to go get my hairbrush. It quickly became a whole event.

Sure it was rough going at the beginning, and one child was particularly rough (I won’t say who), but once they got into the groove, it was smooth sailing and I actually relaxed into it.

They stood behind me on the couch, taking turns, and brushed.  Top to bottom. Over and over and over. A calming, soothing, generous action from children to mama.

Feeling their little hands all over my hair and head and shoulders in this way feels intimate in a way we hadn’t experienced in this exact space before.  Their warm breath in my ears as they ask, “Does that feel nice?” and even if it didn’t quiet feel that nice yet, I whisper, “so nice, sweetheart.”

Then they started in on Dada too.  One child with each of us.

The conversation turned into what they could put in our hair to style it. Trolls? Spiderman? LEGOS!

“I have good ideas for your hair, but I don’t know what supplies we need for this.”

They woke up the next morning still thinking on it and coming up with ideas.

They look forward to it now and last night was about an hour of the same thing – taking turns and perfecting their technique.

I never expected this to be quite so sweet.  I am so used to giving of myself to them, that when they give back to me, it feels like a precious shower of gifts that I’m surprised to reveal I wasn’t at all ready to receive.

In between the really hard lessons and the learning to control our tempers and desires and frustration, there is such gentle sweetness that the world doesn’t seem worthy of such a reward.  And then I keep reminding myself, this is what the world needs most.

This is what you and I need most. This calming sweetness. This gentle giving of ourselves to each other with intimacy that brings chills and such warm feelings, you feel as if you can live to do it all again the next day. It makes me want to go out and brush everybody’s hair.  Not literally, of course, but as I walk down the street the past couple days I picture what it would be like.  What would it feel like to brush her hair and how would it make her feel? I’m carrying this with me and translating it into a heightened level of kindness toward others.

“You ready to have your hair brushed mama?” was the question that greeted me as I arrived home from work yesterday afternoon.

When I least expected it, I experienced first hand that my kids are learning caretaking and kindness and gentleness and giving back expecting nothing in return. In such a simple way, I found kindness and gratitude at the end other end of a hairbrush.


10 Simple Ways to Feel Better when Everything Seems Terrible

Unapologetic Gratitude

Is kindness a weakness?

What I really mean when I say Good Morning

How to persist in Kindness while living in a culture of meanness

Important things from a mom to her children

Being a human being is hard – the golden rule is so simple!

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