a invite-a-shun



Yours truly, 1981


The other day, my daughter asked me to brush her hair.

I know that sentence looks like it could be any other. Trust me, it’s not.

Luau brushes Brooke’s hair.

She comes to me for clothes, she goes to Daddy for hair.

I’ve asked to do it for her.

“No, I will wait for my Dad to do it.”

It just is.

But the other day, my daughter asked me to brush her hair.

When I was a kid, I had long, straight, seventies white girl hair. It was so long that at one time, it skimmed the waistband of my flare-bottom jeans.

For a long stretch, my dad would blow it dry every morning. Because I was a peanut, I’d stand on the closed toilet seat in his and my mom’s bathroom and he would brush my hair as he dried it. And we would talk.

Like the rest of that house, my dad had built that bathroom with his own two hands. He’d finished it with planks of aged, rough-hewn wood – so fitting for the seventies we-may-be-in-the-suburbs-but-let’s-pretend-it’s-a-log-cabin vibe. And facing the wall every morning, I’d shout over the hair dryer’s whine, “Ooh, look at that one! It’s a race car!”

My dad would stop and look at whichever knot in the wood at which I was pointing. My dad – the man for whom patience might have been a virtue, but not one with which he was closely acquainted – would STOP and look. Every time. “Hmm,” he’d say, “you sure, Jessie? It looks like a monkey wearing a helmet to me.”

And we’d debate the monkey / race car until we agreed that it was a monkey and a race car and really, it all depended on how you looked at it. Hell of a life lesson there, don’t you think?

Those hours with my dad meant something.

I know he remembers them, but I’m not sure if he knows that I do.

I do.

The other day, my daughter asked me to brush her hair.

I was so startled by the question that I wasn’t sure that I’d heard her correctly.

“You want ME to brush your hair, baby?”

“Yes,” she said, handing me the brush and the detangler spray.

“It’s a invite-a-shun.”

I don’t know why she would choose that word.

But I certainly know why I would.



Brooke, 2012



16 thoughts on “a invite-a-shun

  1. The little things DO mean the most; don’t they? And when it’s a ‘little thing’ to most, but a ‘big thing’ to us, well, that’s just THE BEST. I’m so glad you got to enjoy such a wonderful moment with your daughter!

  2. Beautiful and Brooke really does look just like you. It’s funny my husband brushes my daughter’s hair too. It’s something they share together and she really prefers him to do it.

  3. Oh, my, goodness but Brooke looks like you!

    What wouldn’t give for a memory with my dad like that. heavy sigh I am happy to be an adult trying to make memories like yours for my granddaughter and I tried with my children.

    So happy for your invite!

  4. I needed a little something this morning to drop kick my day off and got a great big something. Sitting here with tears in my eyes and I don’t remember from what most, the story, which truly touched my heart, or the remark your mother left. As a father of three daughters, all grown and mothers also, I found this story quite touching and direct to my heart. Although I was never blessed with an Autistic child, I have many relatives that were and they truly are a blessing and joy. Thank you for sharing this touching story.

  5. I found this post by falling in love with your letter about the spirt of Santa on FB, just by chance. When I read “Invite-a-shun,” I realized it wasn’t by chance. I then cried deeply after reading “Welcome to the Club” post. Why, you might ask? Or perhaps you already know. . .yesterday was D-day for me. Praise God for allowing me to find your blog. Thank you for allowing me to stop googling, stop reading, stop worrying and allowing it all to just sink in. WebMD wasn’t what I needed. THIS is what I needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  6. I absolutely fell in love with your blog! Looking back through the last 19 years of raising children on the Autism Spectrum (3 of them) I truly wish I had an outlet like your blog – or knew it existed šŸ™‚ Through the years I have had those moments where all I could do is stand there in awe of my children. Loving your blog and look forward to reading more šŸ™‚

    http://www.autismable.com – my blog dedicated to learning about Autism Spectrum Disorders . It is new but will be filling up with information soon šŸ™‚

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