This morning, I’m running behind schedule. My daughter refused to get up for school, so I threatened her: “If you don’t get up by the count of 3, I’m going to hug you so hard, we fall off the bed!” Usually this trick works the first time, but I had to fall off the bed 3x today! OOOUCCHH!
Finally she got up, got dressed and ate her breakfast.
Now it’s time to brush her hair. I’m not sure how an 8-year old gets so many monster knots in her hair, but she does.
So I’m in a hurry trying to get her out the door to school on time. I spray nearly half a bottle of detangler on her hair, and I’m tugging on it to get her knots out. She screams OWWWW! That hurts! She grabs the brush and hits me on the arm with it. I scream back OOWWWW! That hurts!
So I take a deep breath and count to 10, because I’m about to chop off all her hair.
So I start over, and this time I slow down. I work the knots out one strand of hair at a time. Oh so slowly. All the while, my mind is saying, I don’t have time for this, we’re going to be late!
And then the most amazing thing is happening. As I’m working out the knots, I’m calming down. My hectic morning is disappearing from memory.
I’m present with the knots, conscious of how one strand of hair is twisted around the other. I’m watching how beautifully the hair starts to separate and the knot starts to unravel, consciously aware of the knot in my stomach unraveling at the same time. The big clump is still there in her hair, but I don’t touch it. Instead, I continue to work around it — one small strand of hair at a time. It’s tremendously satisfying to run the brush cleanly through each strand. And when it gets stuck on another knot, I simply work on a smaller strand. Before I know it, and quicker than I realize, the kinks and knots are all gone.
And as I stand back to look at her beautiful hair, I’m feeling peace.
And I’m grateful for this morning’s lesson that the choices we make — make us or break us.