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Childhood is making magic out of everyday rituals

mom and daughter with towels on and doing masks- childhood memories
Yuri A/Shutterstock

I remember snapshots of my colorful childhood. There were scraped knees from cul-de-sac rollerblading adventures, bruised feelings from mean girls on the softball team and family charades and sister performances where you applauded like you had witnessed Broadway. It was a beautiful one and I know you gave me so much of what you had not.

I remember the “swing low” lullabies before bed, the attentive eyes on my face and even a moment of me being goofy with you through the window as you scrubbed dishes in the sink. That face reflected: “I see you and I delight in who you are.” That look filled my soul and prompted my self-assured nature time and time again.

This morning as I wrapped my firstborn daughter’s head in a towel after a shower, another snapshot came screeching back into view, like a runaway car—hot and urgent—that I wouldn’t forget.

I remember watching you, with my young-girl eyes, wear that towel and think, “How does she do that?”

It might be silly, but I did. It seemed one of hundreds of plain things you would craft by your hands into something extraordinary. I could never figure it out for my own head until my hands grew long with adolescence. But by then, I was too cool to credit you for why I no longer had the discomfort of dripping hair after a shower.

So this morning when my own daughter asked, “Will you wrap my head in a towel like you do yours?” I stopped for a minute and felt the memory of you wrapping my hair. It felt like just yesterday, and yet here I was, swaddling the long locks of a five-year-old daughter I carried, birthed and am now in the throes of raising and cherishing.

My mother, who accomplished far more than a towel twist on any given morning, wove for me threads of grace, love and fortitude that I now carry and bestow upon my own child.

I love you, mom.