With a title like this I’m sure that you as the reader must wonder why I would write a story about a hairbrush. To ease your curiosity let me set the record straight. This brush is not ‘magical’ with special powers to curl hair or to keep hair from falling out or even keeping every hair in place. The sad thing is that it can’t even make me better looking. So what enticed me to write about this hairbrush? What value is it to me?
Being the sentimental type, this brush is special to me because it is old and someday one of my children will inherit this valuable piece of memorabilia. I bought it when I was 19 years old and living in Italy and for the last 50 plus years it has been used on my hair nearly every day.
I have taken it with me as I traveled to Canada, to Europe, to South Africa, to Mali, to Morocco, to Mexico, and all over the United States. I am so familiar with this brush that I could probably name every bristle on it. If I could figure out how to keep it on top of my head I'm certain it would brush my hair by itself. It is my good luck piece that helps me stay moderately well groomed (ok maybe that is too high of an appraisal) but it does a good job and I like it. I have even thought of donating it to the Smithsonian Institution for millions of people to view and gawk at and enjoy after I am gone from this world.
I am not implying that hair-brushing etiquette is a resiliency skill that we should teach to our children but I am suggesting that we should help them understand the value of keeping ourselves presentable. When they practice personal hygiene they add confidence to their repertoire of who they are. We want our children to like themselves and this is one of those little things that can help them do that. They may not appreciate it when they are younger (I didn't) but when they are older and apply for jobs or ask someone for a date or meet their boy or girlfriend’s mother they will be grateful (I have two grandsons who are finding out how important it is to make a positive impression on their dates moms).
My mother used to say “cleanliness is next to godliness” and while I don’t know how true that is or exactly what it means, I do know that combing my hair makes me feel better especially when I walk past a mirror. When we feel better about ourselves we are more capable of living resiliently.
I recommend that all parents should buy their children a hairbrush.
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