I have a small abrasion on my eyelid, so have foregone wearing makeup for the past several days, something I rarely do. I decided what the heck, I work from home, there's no one to scare, I'll give my hair a break, too. So instead of blowdrying my hair every morning, meticulously taming it with a round brush and the occasional touch of the flatiron, I have just been letting it air dry. Because I hate the feeling of wet hair on my neck, and because my hair is neither straight nor curly but is fairly thick, air drying it involves a lot of me roughing it up with my hands to let air circulate. I considered just putting it up wet in a clip, but recalled an horrific story my niece told me about her college roommate's hair growing mold from being bundled up into a bun while still wet. Yikes! With my not-straight-and-not-curly hair drying in wild abandon, I look like the Wild Woman of Borneo. Actually, without a speck of makeup on, more like the Wild Woman after pulling an all nighter.
So there I was this morning, sitting on the patio, my hair all wild about my head, looking and feeling every one of my 60+ years, thinking there might not be enough coffee in the world to fully kick myself into gear, and my mom comes out, looks at me and says "Your hair is so pretty. I think you should grow it out longer." What?? I wondered by what stretch of her imagination does this mess on top of my head look pretty, and why on earth would I want more of it? That's it, I thought, her mind has either finally jumped the tracks or her cataracts have completely grown back overnight. I gaped up at her smiling face and realized...this woman has seen this hair before. Before the years turned me middle aged, before kids, before college or high school or even grade school, this woman has seen this hair before. She used to wash it, comb thru the tangles, brush it dry, then braid it into two perfect plaits tied with ribbon. She knows this hair...she loves this hair...she loves me. And she is looking at me thru her love goggles. They are kind of like beer goggles, except they are in place all the time, not just at closing time at the bar. Everything she sees when she looks at me is filtered thru these goggles. When she looks at me she sees not just the adult I am but the child I was and always will be to her.
What a precious and unexpected gift. On a sunny Wednesday morning, sitting on a patio, feeling like roadkill...to be looked at with love goggles. Maybe I'll embrace that Wild Woman and let my hair, which I was considering chopping off, grow out a few more inches. Maybe I'll stop being so (I can admit it) anal about letting people see me sans makeup. And maybe, just maybe I'll look at myself the same way my mom still looks at me...thru love goggles.