Every morning we do this thing. My daughter plops down on my lap while I sip my morning coffee.
Today, was no different. My daughter asked the rhetorical question asked every morning, “Mom, will you brush my hair?” Handing me the brush without waiting for the answer.
Only, this time I almost gave her a different response.
For a split sec, I felt the urge to encourage my 11-year-old to do it herself. But I paused. And replied, “Yep,” while she was already in position waiting for me to begin.
As she sat with her lanky legs smothering my lap, I carefully made my way through each tangle and snarled knot in her golden, sun-kissed mane. I am pretty good at making sure it doesn’t hurt. I wondered if she even realizes.
As I was finishing, she looked over her shoulder and asked, “Can you keep brushing?”
At this moment I realized these moments are fleeting. It won’t be much longer; She will brush her own hair; stand on her own two feet. And she will no longer ask for my help in this kind of way. It’s not a matter of being capable of doing it herself. She’s done it before. I know, and she knows, she can.
But, these moments are much more than that. It’s a morning exchange that connects us.
I am glad I didn’t go with my initial impulse to tell her she needs to grow up. Falling for the message, if I do it for her, I am not teaching her to do for herself. Because as a tween, her plate is plenty full of things she does for herself.
I am glad she still asks. The day is coming when she won’t.