And I broke down in tears.
For a couple reasons.
First, this small, maternal responsibility brought to the surface a bundle of insecurities and inadequate feelings. During my elementary and middle school years, when girls are most likely to sit around "doing" each other's hair, I had no friends to practice on. This morning may have been the first time I've put a ponytail into another person's hair. I felt so inept.
Second, the ponytail was further evidence that my daughter is a little girl and not a baby anymore. I've known this for a while, but somehow it was just so real when she looked at me with her mess of curls smoothed back into the rubber band and actually looking half-way decent.
I guess there are a couple lessons I can learn from this (maybe that's a stretch), but I did discover that if I'm willing to do things as a mom that I feel unqualified for, the results can end up better than I even hoped. Her ponytailed hair looked much better than her mop-top does on any given day and when I walked her out of the house, I actually felt pride as a mom. Yeah, she's growing up, but look what I can do! I can get a child dressed and out of the house who doesn't look like she spent the night on her own in an alley! Yay, me!