About 10 years ago, I discovered the art of braiding hair…French, that is. I was in awe…complete and total awe. So beautiful but so unattainable. I had bid adieu to long hair decades earlier and had no little girls to practice on. My boys, had they had the long hair, barely had time to take showers in between football and hunting/trapping much less actually combing their hair!
Then one day, it came to me in a flash that there was no reason I couldn’t have long hair again. Forget that The Rule was “long hair makes one look old.” OK. So I was old already. What harm could it do? Was I beyond living on the edge? Not hardly.
So the hair grew and grew…and then I had 4 (later 5) granddaughters to practice on! But I hadn’t considered learning the fine art of braiding yet. I thought the hair had to be really long first. A friend assured me that it was long enough to French braid and sure enough, it was. Ony I couldn’t take her home with me to be my personal hair braider since her calling is management and not labor. *ahem*
I was up against the wall with nowhere to turn. YouTube was my only hope.
Sure nuff, YouTube was chock full of braiding tutorials. Which meant I had to decide what to learn first. After much thought, French won…after all, that was my first love.
Much to my amazement and after a half a dozen starts and stops, by golly, I could French braid my hair!
I practiced in front of the computer screen with whoever was braiding. I practiced in front of the mirror. I practiced while watching TV. I practiced in the car…no, I wasn’t driving.
And then I could French braid my granddaughters’ hair. Eventually, I could braid upside down…
and two ways.
A French Braiding Meemaw Diva was in the making! As soon as the girls hit the door, braids were requested. Except for one. That one hates having anyone do her hair. She starts hollering at the mere sight of a comb. Or brush. She used to sit still for me and indeed, amazed her sisters because she would sit still for me. Only me. Something happened though and she decided I couldn’t fix her hair either.
Everyone else lined up for braids.
Only this time, Meemaw was branching out. Reaching for the moon. Trying the impossible. The Big Kahoona (sp?) was within reach.
Yep. The Dutch Braid loomed in front of me. Oh yeah. All of the YouTube vidders said “It’s easy!” Just braid backwards. Right. No problem.
I had made some lame attempts once or twice. It was like learning Chinese. Or something.
But with gritted teeth and determination, the hair started flying. With lots of talking to myself. The granddaughter kept saying “What?” and I kept braiding. And talking and braiding.
Behold. I did it. Not the greatest job in the world but I had the hang of the Dutch. I undid everything and started again trying to be neater. And it worked! I was a genius. Or close.
It helped that I braided her hair like Elsa’s/Anna’s…you know, the “Let it Go” gal from “Frozen”. Or close.
Yeah, I’m now the Go-to Meemaw for French and Dutch braids now. I won’t quit my day job though.
The moral of this story? Never give up. Try something new. Take a chance. Even if everyone thinks you’re crazy. Or a couple of marbles short.
So now that’s out of the way…anyone up for fiddle lessons?!!
Almost forgot. One of the DiL’s got one of those wands that you wrap hair around and gives you Shirley Temple girls. I told her there was NO way that would work on my stick straight hair. No. Way.
Way. Can you believe it?