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The Simplest Part Of Me

August 31, 2011

by Sarena James

Mommy and Son Moment

Sometimes I wonder what my son sees in me when our eyes meet, and he smiles his dimpled-smile.  I wonder what role I play in his moments of everyday happiness.

I know he likes mommy’s spaghetti with untraceable amounts of fresh spinach; if he knew it was in there, he wouldn’t eat it.  I know he likes our less than choreographed dances to Marvin Gaye’s, Pride and Joy.

I know he likes Mommy’s deep hugs even though they are frequent and perhaps last too long.  But today the very sight of me brought tears to his eyes…
Admittedly, I looked nothing like I did this morning when Grant boarded the bus and waved bye-bye. Something had happened, some sort of transformation had taken place, and he knew it.  He started crying, crying hard, and then came the piercing sound of his scream.  Immediately I searched for a note from his teacher that would clue me in to the type of day he’d had at school. There was nothing; nothing but cries every time he looked at me. 

Raphael and I sat completely baffled.  Does his tummy ache?  Is something too loud?  Is he thirsty?  Did something frighten him on the way home?  For nearly fifteen minutes his cries controlled our thoughts until his trapped words broke free, “Mommy’s hair.” 

I had spent a portion of my morning at the hair salon. There I relaxed to the scent of a coconut conditioner and surrendered to the massage of a cleansing shampoo. On a whim I decided to change something about my look, nothing drastic like cuts or colors, but a little something subtle to sweeten my day. My hair wasn’t straight anymore, it was loosely curled. My hair wasn’t parted on the normal right, but the left. There stood my son, sorting through the details of his mommy’s new look; undoubtedly, trying to determine what it all meant, if anything at all.

We warmly welcomed his words and encouraged him to keep talking. “Kuh”, was the next sound we heard from him. We voiced every word we could think of that started with that syllable and then came the word, “comb”.  Grant’s eyes lit up, and his absent smile returned. Our youngest daughter found the large black comb in the bathroom and handed it to her brother.  Instead of parting it on the left, he parted it on the normal right, gradually combing through every curl. “Comb Mommy’s hair!” 

Awe-mazing!   There it was; a complete sentence. This being the second time speech surfaced through his emotional conflict.

I lost any reminder of the hairstyle I left the salon with, but I gained yet another peek into his world. Sometimes change that’s unexpected is difficult to process, no matter how big or small. Although my new look was becoming, letting him comb through my hair was more beautiful; it was a connection birthed from his vocal explanation. He made every effort to communicate his feelings, and it worked. Next month I plan to get the big curls again and the part on the left and together we’ll both get used to it; together we’ll change what’s normal, combing through the details.

As life would have it, Grant has become a five-year-old teacher. He teaches Understanding, Perspective, and Sensitivity.  In the end what brought us apart, brought us together even more.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. permalink
    September 8, 2011 5:05 pm


  2. September 1, 2011 9:06 am

    Sarena, you really have a gift of taking your everyday experiences and using them to take me to a deeper level of thinking. A deeper level of thinking to make to a higher level of awareness each time I read your entries. I am honored to have you as a little sister!

  3. Jerome Davis permalink
    September 1, 2011 6:15 am

    A very inspiring story. In addition to the wisdom from above, this is what I wil use to guide my decisions today.

  4. LaDonna permalink
    August 31, 2011 10:08 pm

    Speechless! I love that little boy.

  5. August 31, 2011 5:34 pm

    Amazing….Jumping for joy!!!

  6. August 31, 2011 5:27 pm

    This three year journey has been the longest life course I’ve ever taken. The lessons learned along the way have been so valuable though. Perspective is a tool I’ve now learned to use everyday; the willingness to look at a situation from another’s point of view. This is not an easy road but readers like each of you warm my heart with gratitude. Thank you for allowing our stories to speak to you. Thank you for meeting us OnAisle9 and for partcipating in conversations from which we all will grow.

  7. Debbie Fowler permalink
    August 31, 2011 4:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. I am always amazed how the smallest things (to us) are the biggest for our boys. And sometimes the things that I anticipate will be really hard for McCray end up not being an issue at all. Perspective can change everything… and help us learn and grow in grace!!

  8. Marilyn permalink
    August 31, 2011 11:35 am

    Absolutely beautiful…both the story itself and especially the people in it. Sarena, you are a phenomenal writer. Love shines through so clearly.

  9. Latasha permalink
    August 31, 2011 10:25 am

    Wow, touching and amazing!

  10. August 31, 2011 8:02 am

    Smiling tears.

  11. Tiffany permalink
    August 31, 2011 7:16 am

    Here come the tears…again!

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