From the moment I knew the meaning of the words CURLY. HAIR. I knew I had it.
And I hated it.
My Mom, on the other hand (or head, as the case may be) had and still has PIN. STRAIGHT. HAIR.
My Mom has admired my CURLY. HAIR. for as long as I can remember and I have coveted my Mom’s PIN. STRAIGHT. HAIR. for just as long.
The problem is this: I grew up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. My childhood photos are always me and my super-short so they wouldn’t curl bangs and my curly hair…
My cousins, my friends and just about everybody else had real bangs and PIN. STRAIGHT. HAIR.
The 60’s? Let’s just not go there with CURLY. HAIR. with icons like Cher and Twiggy. I ironed my hair. With a flat iron. I reverse permed my hair. I rolled my hair each night in soda cans and slept in them…
And the 70’s? Well, at least by then some genius had invented hand-held hair-dryers with comb & brush attachments and electric hair rollers.
All the while, my Mom kept on loving my CURLY. HAIR. and I kept on coveting her PIN. STRAIGHT. HAIR.
This brings me to the title of this post, my Mom and Hurricane Irene.
Barry and I were up very early yesterday morning to keep an eye on Irene’s approach. By 7:00 am, we had lost electricity…
This means NO ELECTRICITY. No hair-dryers. No hair straighteners. No CURLY. HAIR. daily dose of paraphernalia.
My Mom was staying with us at our home because we didn’t want her alone in her senior development for all the hurricane reasons why the elderly should not be alone… and because we love to have her at our home anyway.
At one moment during the morning, my Mom looked at my hair for a l-o-n-g moment and said, “I’ve always loved your hair like that.”
“LIKE THIS? I’ve spent more of my life than I care to admit to have my hair NOT like this,” I laughed.
And my childhood came flooding back to me.
My Mom fixed my hair every single morning… in braids, pony-tails, hairbands and buns wrapped inside those wiry bun holders that I loved so much. She had every ribbon color, every barrette color and every size bobby-pin. She had brushes and combs that she meticulously cleaned each week in ammonia. I can still smell the faint smell of ammonia from those days.
My Mom told me every single day how much she loved my hair.
And you know what? I believed her then, I believe her now and it still means the world to me… even yesterday in the middle of a hurricane that turned into a tropical storm that still did a CURLY. HAIR. number on my CURLY. HAIR.
Now… Audrey’s boys? Not quite the same CURLY. HAIR. reception.
As Barry, my Mom and I walked into Audrey and Matt’s home right after the worst of the storm with a nice, big pot of meatballs (I heated them up on my gas stove)… all 4 boys looked at me, aghast, and yelled, “GRANDMA, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR HAIR!?”…
Ah… a head of hair that only a Mom can love.
Thanks, Mom. I love you!
(And I still love your PIN. STRAIGHT. HAIR. !!)
And, oh… the boys devoured the meatballs.