Ironically, as I worked the sailing knot out of her messy head of hair, I calmed down some. She was frustrated with the knot’s tenacity to stay intact when she asked me for help. I am the last resort before the scissors. Last time she let her hair get that unruly, she lost eight inches. Once we got situated, it took about 20 minutes. I worked it out and brushed her hair until all of its caramel-color shined through, her long locks were as smooth as my satin bedspread. She protested when I started to braid it but later acquiesced at the thought of waking up to another tangled mess, She asked for non-glitter hair bands before I kissed her goodnight.
It was shortly after 10 p.m. when I closed my bedroom door so I could finally let go of the 140 pounds worth of tears that were stuck inside me. I looked at the 1.5-inch gap at the top of the door. Why did he saw off the top of it? Why couldn’t he just use the planer like he did on the other doors? Shit, fuck, damn. If I started crying now, Bridget would surely hear me. She already knew I was pissed, sad, distraught that it was the one year anniversary of the divorce. It wasn’t her fault the divorce happened nor was it her fault that the day had arrived like every other day does, because it has to. We can’t stop its arrival.
I climbed into bed and briefly texted my friend Karin who delivered the swift kick in the ass that successfully interrupted my pity party. Subtley, she delivered the message: Get your ass back to yoga tomorrow. I set my alarm on my phone, too tired to walk the eight steps to my alarm clock which has a manic personality that tunes out my favorite station at inopportune times and instead blasts godforsaken noises before dawn. I opted for the classic harp alarm on my iPhone. Cocoa awoke me at 3 a.m. to go out, after which I successfully fell back to sleep; the harp strings delivered a lovely melody around 5:25 a.m. I got dressed, let the dogs out, made the coffee, fed the dogs, packed Bridget’s lunch, and headed to yoga.
It was my first real class of movement since December 12. Last Friday morning was a yin class. Kristin started with legs up the wall then talked us through table pose, we came in and out of cat and cow, then we transitioned to plank, lowered to mini-cobra, rose up into downward dog, stepped into forward-folds, reversed our swan dives and moved into tree pose, and more. I listened to my breathing, appreciated its ability to spew the garbage out of my head, the self-loathing, the pity, the pathetic thoughts all squelched. Savasana was bliss. Even the fetal position. When I ended my practice I meant it when I said Namaste. I felt like God tapped Kristin, Maggie, Kerry, and Elizabeth on their foreheads in the middle of the night, and whispered, “Please show up, she needs your light.”
I called Bridget and said I was on my way and would drive her to school. I told her to wear her boots to the car, and quickly grabbed them from her once she sat down and pulled them off. As she put her gym shoes on, she nervously chattered about the doughnuts from Tuzik’s bakery that she yet to eat. She wasn’t happy that her hair had more waves than normal, though she thoughtfully acknowledged that the braids did their job: No tangles and her hair was a lot less poofy.
I came home and made the morning rounds, opened the living room curtains, made her bed, picked up the clothes and spent washcloth on her bathroom floor, and eventually headed downstairs and turned off the lamp that I left on for the dogs the night before. I saw the hairbrush, filled with the remnants of the knot. I smiled and thought I want every night to end like that. My legs stretched open, my daughter seated in between them, her head lower than mine so I can watch the show with her, my fingers making their way through her hair and guiding it to the brush whose teeth separate the strands and stretching them, the same way my body stretched this morning. Namaste.