When I was what we now call a tween, Mommie and Auntie would get together every few weeks and we’d play Hair Salon. I’d color, wash and blow-out their hair. We’d laugh and share coffee and treats. Sometimes I’d throw in a hand or shoulder massage, to round out their appointment.
I developed into “Cookie”, hair dresser extraordinaire. I’d get phone calls and pop-ins, Aunties and friends of Mommie, looking for Cookie. “Hey is Cookie there on Friday? Can she squeeze me in?” It was fun to bond and share time with the almost elder ladies in the family. I liked being the helper, even when I didn't. Extra chores still had a way of making me feel special; chosen.
Through the years Cookie moved away and only did their hair every few months. With every few visits, Cookie and their time with her was revisited. Reminiscing over coffee and treats was a welcomed occasion.
When Mommie and I got together for events, she’d always ask if Cookie would be there to snaz her up. Of course, Cookie would show up and take on her role as hair dresser and make-up artist. And Mommie and I would laugh and laugh and laugh. After Mommie became sick, Cookie had to make a few hospital calls; to be sure Mommie was looking her best, while feeling her worst. A few weeks before Mommie died, she thanked me. She thanked me for always prettying her up; for taking the time.
I was never sure why I was chosen to be the hairdresser. I think I’m still unsure. What did they see in me that told them I’d do what they asked and what made them happy; to make them feel pretty?