Breakfast & Braids

December 7, 2010
Every single Sunday Rose woke up at 9 o’clock so Mom could braid her hair. It wasn't a tradition, more like a sometimes-tradition. Sometimes Mom would be tired or sometimes she would be too busy, and Rose would have to go another week the same braids. But when Mom did wake her up with church music in the morning, Rose knew what was waiting: waffles, blueberry pancakes, or grits, and fresh braids.
Every single Sunday morning Mom woke up at 8 o’clock so that she could braid Rose's hair. She tried to make it a tradition, but sometimes she would be too tired or busy. But when Sunday mornings were feeling just right, Mom put on soft church music and started making breakfast. Eventually Rose would come down.
Breakfast and braids were the closest thing to solace the two had. During this time Mom could retreat from the hectic work world and make big decisions based on the simple outlook from her daughter. With each french braid came Rose's next crush, or Mom’s next project, or “Oh, mommy did you see my spelling test?”
This was their time for each other.
But like the braids on her head, the somewhat-tradition grew old. Rose stopped watching Sesame Street and wanted to get on the streets, and no longer wanted braids.
“Can you straighten my hair today? You know? Like the girls on TV?”
Straight hair isn't cute. It breaks your hair, it’s not healthy, or natural, or pretty. No, I will not straighten your hair.
But it was Sunday, and Rose didn’t want to go a week without straight hair. The girls on TV all had straight hair, it must be healthy and was definitely pretty. “Please mom, just this once?”
No, I won’t—end of discussion. Go do the dishes, and make sure you scrub the pots and pans.
Mom didn’t want her Rose to have straight hair. Her baby, her sunshine, her one and only couldn’t be one of those straight hair girls walking the block. No. Not her baby,

Every single Sunday morning Rose woke up at 7 o’clock to do her own hair. Waking up to a bowl of cereal, orange juice, and the newest Rap music, her routine became a tradition. This was the only way her hair would be as straight as she wanted.
Mom awoke to swear words every Sunday morning. The Rap music creaked into her room as Rose made her cereal, and Mom loathed each weekend as the farthest thing from solace.
Turn that music down!
“Mom, I already did.”
Turn it down more! And what’s that burning?
The curling iron almost scorched the tiny two-room apartment every Sunday morning, driving Mom insane. In clear defiance of Mom’s wishes, Rose straightened and curled her hair.
Your hair is going to fall out, you know.
Or we’ll just fall out, thought Mom.

Rose now slept in every Sunday morning. This was her time, the one-time she kind find solace in her busy schedule. Mom had a key to the door, so she could sneak in at about 9 o’clock to start cooking the waffles. It was around this time the Baby came downstairs, hoping that grandma could braid her hair.

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Opheliac said...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm
This was a very sweet, and touching story.  It seemed to be close at heart to you, and I loved the emotion and thought put into it.  The length was perfect and conveyed the message perfectly.  I just wanted to say that the first two paragraphs had a bit of repetition whether you intended it to or not I have no clue.  It just had me going, "Wait, didn't I just read that?" which detracted from the story a bit.  All in all it was a nice story with a loving feeling about it :)
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