“Why can’t mom be home!”
That quote could be attributed to multiple people this morning. To Darcy, with tears rolling, as she explained the poor quality of my ponytail. To Me, grumbling as I took up the brush again. Or to Ezekiel who just wanted everyone to be happy… at least until I turned the TV to any show that involved big trucks or rocket ships.
There are many differences between boys and girls. People will debate nature vs nurture, all I know is the I didn’t comb my hair until well past kindergarten. But my daughters see the world differently. Kindergarten Darcy sobbed because her dad has zero idea how to wrangle a double pony tail (a small front one, looped into a larger back one). For her styled hair is essential. But for me… honestly, I still occasionally arrive at the office and realize I never touched my hair.
As I redid the pony tail for a third time I wondered if could send rubber bands and a brush with Darcy to school. “Dear Mrs Braughton, would you please help Darcy with her hair…” If a mom did that, child protective services would be called. But, I reasoned, a dad could get away with it. We are viewed as a bit incompetent, so rather than thinking the worst — we are given props for trying.
Of course I would never actually send the note. For one, teachers have legitimate reasons to strike before I add hair care to their plate. But mainly because I don’t want to be incompetent.
Thankfully Darcy accepted the fourth pony tail. I am not sure it was any better than the others – a lot of flyaways – but Darcy was gracious. She allowed me to feel closer to one of my life’s goals. Certainly not the goal of becoming a stylist! But I do want to be a competent parent (Good in every area is out of reach!). I want to be a dad – and husband – who learns to do things I will never care about — a dad who can “sort of” style my daughter’s hair.
While boys and girls are different, that doesn’t mean our roles have to be different. My family is long past the age of permanent division. I clean toilets, wash dishes, fold laundry… hair care is one of the last divides. And today I was able — without a vacuum cleaner — to put in a pony tail. A hair style Darcy thanked me for as we said bedtime prayers.
Of course we then both thanked God that Megan was home…