Last week there was a photo on Facebook that surfaced from a teacher who had combed her student's hair. It was apparent from the before photo that the little girl arrived in a curly natural state but per the teacher, with a head full of tangles.
There were so many opinions thrown around. "She shouldn't have touched her head," "Why post the picture," and even, "Oh, that couldn't be my child." But why? Aren't we suppose to be helpers one to another?
True story. Years. Wait a minute. Decades ago when I was in pre-K, the very same episode happened to me where my teacher helped whip my head full of hair in shape. The morning started like any other, except instead of my mom being there to comb my hair, my dad was the hairdresser of the day.
Being that my dad wore an Afro and the year was barely, if at all, out of the 70s, my dad made his only child at the time,his mini-me. That's right. The little boney girl who usually went to school with no less than five plaited ponytails arrived to school with a fully picked out Afro. I don't even recall a bow being placed in the naturalness but I do recall my daddy using his pick instead of the regular comb my mom used, to attempt to comb my hair.
My dad had dropped me off at school and one of my teachers who was a young Black lady looked at my hair and patted it. I don't remember the details, if she had asked or contacted either of my parents to see if it were okay for her to commence to tackle my mane, but I do recall the vision of comb, brush, grease and bows. It was if she had been equipped for times such as this. And it was all done before the full day was started.
Personally I loved the idea that my teacher combed my hair. Although little girls love the journey from ponytail to free-flowing hair, myself included, that day having my hair dressed as it normally was, left me happier and that moment has stayed with me since. It felt good knowing others care enough to help in any manner they can. Especially the person I spent more time with throughout the day than my parents. Teachers are special parts of our lives.
I praise what the teacher did for the little girl, who it is said normally doesn't interact as well as other kids. Also, it was shared that the little girl's parents did agree to the beautiful task. In the day and age where the village system seems to be disappearing, there are others who are willing to reach in and help mothers, father and the family system as a whole, to raise our children. Thank you.
When so many parents have lost their handles on parenting and lose their children to the streets or death, why would we tear down teachers or anyone else for that matter, who are lending helping hands and showing that caring for others is okay and needs to be revived in our communities.
This past summer my daughter spent a month with my dad in the country. I knew without a doubt her hair would look nothing like I sent her after a week. With hair down her back and natural, I could only imagine what she would look like. The day she text me a photo with a full picked out Afro, with the help from my dad, it was nostalgia at its finest.
My Aunt Margaret, Aunt Connie, Aunt Dora, those who had one time or another played a role in my own rearing, tackled the task of dealing with my daughter and all her glory. Even a family friend went to work on the head full of hair, making sure my daughter looked and felt her best.
I'm grateful to those in my life who lend their helping hand in my raising my daughter alone. No one person can raise a child by themselves and when someone shows their caring for you and your offspring by rising to the occasion to help, nothing less than a Thank You should be thrown their way.