Absolute Joy

Today A and I were getting our hair done. It had been way too long since I had sat in the chair and let me tell you Banana Rama roots weren’t a good look in the 80s and they still aren’t.  I am thankful to say goodbye to the 3 inches of gray and brown that had grown out, but probably not as glad as those who have to look at me on a daily basis.

I love my hair dresser (I know that the more current term is “stylist”, but my grandmother was an hair dresser a.k.a beautician and I just can’t get that term out of my vernacular). I started going to her before I was pregnant with Arden and she has been a pretty constant voice in my world through the last several years. She has seen me ugly pregnant; she helped me deal with baby bangs after Arden was born; she cut Arden’s hair for the very first time; she knows us.  She also has a daughter about a year older than Arden, so she and I have been mamas to only daughters together. Our girls love each other and I am thankful that I get to know her.  She is also one of the most encouraging and kind women I know, and really she doesn’t have to be – I mean, I’m going to go get my hair cut and colored at her shop every 5 weeks whether she encourages me or not – but she never fails to say just the right thing to boost my day.

Today, she and Arden went out to get something from her car while my color was processing.  When they came back inside, she just quietly said to me “your daughter is an absolute joy”. In the moment, I smiled and said “thank you” and agreed that she really is; but as my day has progressed, that phrase has circled in my mind. “Your daughter is an absolute joy.”

I have felt convicted all day.  Because, over the last two days I have really not been able to see that in my kid.  Every time I try to walk into her room and trip over mounds of discarded clothes and Barbie dolls – I have not thought “absolute joy”. When she makes a disgusted face and refuses to try a meal I have worked hard to prepare – “absolute joy” is not the term that comes immediately to my mind or lips.  The complaints and whines and tears over disappointments do not produce in me the feelings of “absolute joy”.

But, you know, she is. Even with the moments of complete frustration – she always has in her that element of absolute joy. At least once a day she does something caring, thoughtful, hilarious, loving, etc. that should really bring those words to my lips.  And so, I was convicted and encouraged today to try to find and focus on those moments. Not to say that I’m not still going to lose my ever-loving mind over the state of disarray that seems to be a constant in her bedroom. I am not promising to not have my feelings hurt when she refuses to eat something I’ve toiled over. And the frustration over the drama that IS a 7 year old girl is probably never going to ease.

But with all that and the other challenges of motherhood, finding the “absolute joy” in her that is evident to others is my goal.

So, today was a good day – I have tamed hair and eyebrows AND encouragement to be a more intentional and attentive mother.  Not bad for a day at the beauty salon.

See ya soon.


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Mommy, Historian, Wannabe Writer.

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