the cartographer

by Dorie on January 10, 2010

zig zags for beebs

I’m almost certain that when Andrew Bird wrote “I was the cartographer of the tangles in your hair,” he was not thinking about mothers and their relationships with their daughters and the daily ritual of the hairdo. But, this is just where my mind goes every time. It’s is such a beautiful, intimate line—to know someone so well that you know where each snarl is likely to crop up. It brings to mind morning sunlight and the process of tracing all the golden hairs from Eva’s head and trying to get them to lay smooth and look brushed.

Of course, most mornings are not that beautiful. They are rushed—we are trying to get out the door to school and work. Most days Eva’s hair is braided is one or two very long braids, and there is little time for experimentation. It is more likely to be a time where we feel cross with each other for all the pulling and yanking that those knots require. Seldom do I stand behind Eva with a comb and think that I am privileged to be able to groom this individual. But every so often, this song, Armchairs comes into my head and I take a breath and remember that it won’t be much longer until she doesn’t want or need me to do her hair, and I braid with a little more intention.

The hat is Eva’s Christmas present from me. It was intended to be a beret, but it ended up being a hat. The hat covers her ears, which is important. I used Palette yarn left over from my tulip socks, and Sock Pixie’s La Parisenne Beret pattern.

Also, Andrew Bird comes to town every year. Why have I never been?


Jeanne January 11, 2010 at 6:01 am

Beautiful writing Dorie! I know this feeling well.

I also love Andrew Bird and missed him when he was in town (I was taking the big girl to visit colleges…that’s how fast the time goes).

qsogirl January 11, 2010 at 8:01 am

The hat looks really nice… and I remember the days when my mom would brush my hair. It was torture then, but I look back on those times fondly now.

I’ve been to an Andrew Bird concert in Champaign, and it was very good. Totally worth seeing him live.

Gretchen January 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Last night I sat combing through and then drying my older daughter’s hair thinking, I don’t know how much longer this will lawst.

She’s nine, so I know that time is fleeting…

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