Last night as I was styling Claudine’s hair I said, “You know, when you first came home from Haiti you were pretty mad about having your whole life changed. It is okay though, I guess I would have been mad too. The thing is, I was the one you took it out on most of the time. I remember one day I had been styling your hair and I had just completed my first set of cornrows. I was so proud of myself! We went to let you see yourself in the mirror and for just a second your eyes lit up and you smiled and then you caught your self, wiped the smile off your face and said, “Pa bele.”
“What does that mean?” she asked.
“It means, ‘not pretty'” I replied.
She giggled and said, “I didn’t say that!”
“Yes you did! You were working me over good. You said, ‘Pa bele'”
She giggled again and I laughed with her.
Boy, I am glad we have made it past that time……
Bonding. It is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience, sacrifice and work but how delightful to reach a place that mother and daughter can look back and laugh together on a first set of cornrows and a ruthless critic’s assessment.
Here is a photo of last nights labors. The top is not cornrowed. Those are flat twists with braids.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”