evidence of healing (sols)

{Evidence of Healing}

Hannah put her hair in lots of minibraids last night. “It’s not going to stay like this for picture day, I just want to get the waves,” she said when Andy gave her the look dads perfect when they have middle school daughters.

She selected her favorite shirt and chose the perfect shoes. She rolled her eyes when Andy asked why the shoes matter when the pictures are only of her head. 
“Wake me up a little early,” she said when we hugged her good night. She snorted a laugh when Andy mentioned she would be early if she just got up the first time, instead of the seventy-first time we asked.
We realize it’s happening — this whole becoming a teenager thing — and yet, we are trying to ignore it. Maybe if we pretend she’s still little, we can stop the inevitable? (Those of you who have walked this path before, it’s okay not to tell me. We are enjoying our blissful ignorance.)
Then today she wakes up and spends too-long in front of the mirror. 
Meanwhile, I weave a thick braid along the front of Stephanie’s hairline, flat iron the rest of it, and spritz on some shine spray. “I love it!” Stephanie smiles in the mirror.
Hannah is still in the other bathroom, in front of the mirror. 
I’m on my way out the door, and she’s finally out from the mirror. “Have a great day, Mom!” she skip-steps over to hug me.
Her hair is in a ponytail. “Did you remember it’s picture day?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah. But I forgot when I brush my hair after braids it gets poofy. So I put it in a ponytail instead.”
“Do you want me to help you?”

“No, that’s okay. I like my hair this way.”

Stephanie raises an eyebrow. “Mom’s good at fixing hair,” she says. I fire a look at Stephanie, a look that says, be nice.
Hannah pours cereal into her bowl. “I know, but I like my hair this way. I was thinking about doing it all fancy, but it didn’t work out. Now I’ll just be the same way I always am. That’s fine too.”
I smile. All these years we’ve waited for her to become real, to become sure of herself, to not let pleasing others be her first priority. And here we are on picture day, her hair in a ponytail, and instead of a meltdown, we get confidence.
I hug her again, a little tighter and blink back tears. “You okay, Mom?” she asks.
I’m more than okay. I tuck a loose strand behind her ear. “You’re beautiful,” I say.
“Wait ’til I smile,” she says.
It is evidence of healing. Her confidence and strength and moxie are her beauty. (Not to mention the pretty face and smile.)
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23 Comments »

  1. I am going to print this story to show my daughter in a couple of years. We are slowly creeping to this stage of needing to be just right, more worried about others. What a special young lady you have.

  2. Aw, I love the 'wait 'til I smile'-perfect! You're right, I won't tell you, but remember I taught them also for a lot of years & think they're just wonderful, like your Hannah!

  3. I got all chilly reading this and I'm pretty sure it is not the air conditioning. I love the photo and I love that self assured attitude she is sporting. What a great mom moment and a great daughter moment too. So happy for the both of you.

  4. These are the moments we cherish as parents when we see our children grow, mature and realize how special they are. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have many more special moments like this.

  5. Tears here. Blessings to you they grow so so fast. I so miss the early mornings before school,now it's just me and the dogs in the mornings. They don't care if I tell them to have a good day or not:)

  6. She gets this confidence from the ones around her, showing her what's important (even though she doesn't know it, yet). A special day, and it's not because it's picture day.

  7. Hannah is beautiful from the inside out. That she feels beautiful is an amazing gift she has given herself, which would not have been possible without your wisdom, your patience, your ability to love big. May she carry this strength with her throughout her journey into young adulthood.

  8. That “Wait 'til I smile line” got me.” I enjoyed reading about this glimpse into picture day. Ours will be on Friday. I wonder if there will be any eventful stories to go along with it – hopefully nothing like Ramona's big fiasco though!

  9. All these years we've waited for her to become real, to become sure of herself, to not let pleasing others be her first priority. And here we are on picture day, her hair in a ponytail, and instead of a meltdown, we get confidence.

    I hug her again, a little tighter and blink back tears. “You okay, Mom?” she asks.

    “I'm more than okay. I tuck a loose strand behind her ear. “You're beautiful,” I say.

    “Wait 'til I smile,” she says.

    It is evidence of healing. Her confidence and strength and moxie are her beauty. (Not to mention the pretty face and smile.)”

    OK, tears again this morning, Ruth. So amazing to watch your girls grow into the young women that God intended them to be.

  10. beautiful inside and out…we had picture day this week and I forgot…had a slicked back pony tail… I didn't react in the same mature fashion as Hannah, you must be soooo proud ! xo