[Author's note: The narrator of this story is only seven years old, so please be nice.]
c1998 Airweaver

When Miss Andrews (she's our teacher) told us we had to write about the person who means the most to us in the whole wide world, I first thought she must mean we had to write about some famous politician or scientist or someone like that. But politicians are really boring and don't seem to do anything but argue with each other on television, and the only scientist I know is my doctor and he kind of scares me. So, I asked my daddy, who knows all kinds of important stuff, and he said, no, he didn't think Miss Andrews meant we had to write about someone like that at all, and he kind of had an idea who I wanted to talk about and with a twinkle in his eye sort of agreed with me, so I went ahead and wrote about my mommy. And Miss Andrews said that was just fine with her.

Well, I guess Mommy is sort of a celebrity, because one day a whole bunch of people came to our house and took all kinds of pictures of her famous hair and they printed a whole page just about her in the paper. And that made me feel like a celebrity myself, because I get to spend lots of time helping her with her hair when Daddy doesn't have time to. And she needs a lot of help with her hair seeing as how there's so much of it and everything. And I like that, because it means we get to spend lots of time together and being close.

Mommy gets to work at home, and that's nice too, because I always get to have her around. I mean, lots of kids go home every day from school and there's no one there because their folks are out working, and that must be rather sad having to go into an empty house and everything. Mommy has some kind of important computer job (I really don't understand it all), but she has her own business and puts out lots of software and stuff that people seem to want to buy. Daddy likes that too, because he says it "helps put food on the table," whatever that means. I mean, because we have always had plenty to eat.

Mommy's job must be good for her hair too, because it's really, really long and she says being home and all gives her enough time to deal with it. I think it is her hair that makes her so very special. Nobody has hair anything like my mommy's. Do you want to know a secret? Mommy has never had her hair cut in her entire life, and it's so long she could walk on it if she wanted to, which she doesn't. See? That's why she needs Daddy and me to help her. Her arms would get just too tired if she had to brush it all by herself, and besides they wouldn't be long enough to reach it all. Daddy is very good with a hair brush (we have a special kind), and I love the sound it makes while he is getting it all smoothed out. He takes his time and when he's finished, Mommy's hair just gleams! I've never seen a prettier sight in my life than Mommy at times like this standing there surrounded by all her beautiful long hair perfectly brushed. It seems to go on forever, right down onto the floor, and it just as if someone turned on another light in the room. Daddy always seems so proud just then and will call Mommy "his darling Rapunzel," and I know all about her. But I'm awfully glad Mommy isn't locked away in a tower.

I am pretty good using a hair brush myself and getting better all the time. Sometimes when she's sitting at the computer working on some really complicated problem, Mommy will take the pins out of the big bun she keeps her hair wrapped in during the day and let me brush it for her. She says it helps her think. It's nice to know I'm helping her with her job, but mostly I just like the feel of all that wonderful hair. It's always so soft and smells just like flowers. I love the way it flows through my fingers and ripples against the back of Mommy's chair. I try to be very gentle because Mommy's hair is so extra special and am always careful to gather it all up together and place it across this rack kind of thing we have so I won't step on any of it. Then I will start at the farthest end and work my way up slowly up towards Mommy's neck. I know this sounds kind of backwards, but that's the way I was taught is best for Mommy's hair. And it seems to work, because every time I do it, Mommy's hair starts glowing even more than it does normally. I try to get it as neat and smooth as Daddy does, but never quite succeed. Daddy calls himself a "100 stroke man," and I try to keep count and bush each section 100 times, although sometimes I forget. Sometimes I know Mommy isn't looking at the computer screen, because I can see her eyes are closed. She'll say, "No, dear, I'm not sleeping, just resting. That's so relaxing. Please continue." So, I'm helping Mommy with her job, helping keep her hair pretty, and helping her relax. All at the same time.

What takes the most time at our house is when Mommy has just washed her wonderful long hair. It seems to take forever to dry. That's something else Daddy and I can help her with. I am in charge of the towels, and we go through lots of these. One of Daddy's friends, who knows all about Mommy's famous hair, once gave us a fancy hair dryer. I thought that would save us a lot of time, but though Mommy said he meant well, we wound up giving it away. Daddy said that was the right thing to do. They both agreed that what they call "air drying" is best for extra long hair like Mommy's. This is fine by me, because though Mommy's bun is very pretty I like her best when I can see all her beautiful hair hanging loose, and she always keeps it down while she's drying it so the air can get to it all, and this can take hours. She never leaves the house with her hair loose like this, because it would just get dragged in the mud and dirty all over again, but she says she gets some of her best work done while her hair is drying. So she does a lot of good work, and I get to watch that glorious hair flowing around her like a waterfall.

I know this all may sound like a lot of work to you, but it isn't really. Daddy and I love helping out, and we are both so proud of Mommy. Mommy plans on keeping her long hair for years and years, and in fact, told me she wants to see how long it will get. She told me about a woman with hair a lot longer than hers, so I know some other people must have incredibly long hair, only just not as pretty.

I'm trying to get long hair myself. I know some people think my pigtails are very long and have even talked about them. But I don't think my hair is long at all. I'm just getting to the point where I can sit on my hair and that's only when my braids are out. I told Daddy I wanted hair as long as mommy's, and he said he didn't see why not, seeing as how I was a blond too. He said something about my jeans I didn't understand, but I knew what he was talking about when he said to just be patient. Mommy says it took her thirty years for her hair to get this long and that hair will only grow so fast. I just hope I don't have to wait to become an old lady before I can have hair like hers. I only know I will never, ever cut my hair. Not even a little bit.

My wish is one day to have hair just like Mommy's, and when I grow up I want to have a little girl to help me just the same way I'm helping my mommy now.

Gretchen MacDougall
Miss Andrews' 2nd Grade Class
Garfield Elementary School

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