Some days I still struggle to believe that THIS is my job. I love it. I love my BFH Seniors and their families. I have had so many sessions with different, incredible, passionate young adults, and I remember each and every one of them. But right now, in this moment of reflection, two of my seniors are coming to mind, and those would, of course, be my very own children (Yes they were each BFH Seniors, and their sessions were incredible for a few reasons, but that is a story for another day).
I know as a mother it is my job to say this, but I love these 2 kids, I really do. Though some days I think she loves him even more than I do. The “she” would be my daughter, a freshly minted college freshman and a recent graduate of the Class of 2020. The him, of course, would be her older brother, my middle child. His BFH Senior days are a little further behind him as he was a member of the Class of 2018. Now he is a tall, hungry (seriously that boy can EAT) and constantly evolving junior in college.
2020 brought many struggles, but one of the silver linings it brought me was extended winter breaks! For both my college-aged children, this was reason for excitement. Today, as I sit writing this, in my empty nest again, I think of this past Sunday, January 10th, when my son headed back to campus to start the last leg of his Junior year. Actually, I find myself thinking of the night before he left, as we were getting ready for his trip back to campus. (And by ‘getting ready’ I mean that by 9:45pm he still did not have a single thing packed and he was sitting watching the football game on TV.) That was when I realized that my daughter may actually love him more than I do! He had asked me to help him fold his clothes so he can pack AND to redo his hair. For context, my son has a LOT of hair. He wears it in two strand twists and it can take hours (like between 6 and 8) to untwist it, wash it, detangle it, part it, and then twist it again. Knowing that he had to leave to drive back to school by 10am, he asked if I could braid it like the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson. In theory, this would take a few hours less to do than my son’s usual twists, which was definitely a plus, as I did not want him attempting the three and a half hour drive back to campus if he was up all night doing his hair. Though I appreciated the compromise, I knew that this style was not going to make him feel truly happy or comfortable unless it was done just right. I did not see a way to get his hair done to his standards in the time we had left!
Through my entire rebrand process, as I kept narrowing down the elements of my life I wanted to bring to the BFH Brand, the two that eventually became rooted in my mission statement kept popping up, and that night, as I hurried to help my son pack, I was reminded of just how powerful these 2 forces are. Of course I am talking about compassion and the power of meaningful friendships. I am fortunate as a mother that my last two kids are honestly the best of friends. While I helped my son fold and pack clothes for the winter and spring weather, his younger sister stepped up and volunteered to do his hair for him. Just like Lamar Jackson. It was such a sweet and touching moment. While I finished the packing, she sat him down and took over the parting and braiding even though we were under a time crunch, she wanted his parts to be perfect and she took her time to make certain they were straight and evenly spaced. 2am rolled around as I stepped back, feeling a mix of amused and cranky, in the way that only mothers can be, at the fact that he had waited until hours before he had to leave to begin packing. I looked at my daughter, expecting to see her feeling exhaustion at the late hour or regret at volunteering to help do her brother’s hair. That was not the case. I saw such caring, sweet, love for her brother, mixed with fierce pride for her handiwork reflecting in her eyes. For a moment, I thought she actually loves him more than I do. But, as all the moms out there know, that’s not true. No one can love our babies as much as we do, but in moments like these, little sisters can get pretty close.