Image for the poem Letter to a Young Mother - A true short story

Letter to a Young Mother - A true short story

The American Doll, Julie Albright, sat quietly against a pillow on my daughter’s bed surrounded by an assortment of play clothes and hairties. I stood next to my daughter, braiding her hair for school. This was our quiet time before school when our thoughts could roam free.  
I noticed Julie was already dressed in a different outfit from the evening before.    
“Were you up late playing with Julie?”    
As I continued to separate the silky strands, my daughter’s piercing brown eyes met mine in the mirror over her dresser.    
“I guess. I wanted to stay up until daddy came home.”    
“Did you?” I asked in a broken whisper.    
“I don’t think so,” she said, dropping her eyes to Julie at the head of her bed.    
That was all we said, but even at seven, she seemed to know the waters were troubled.    
I looked down at her silvery crown framed by two braids and tried to read her thoughts. Did she know her father had been with other women and that I’d forgiven him only to be betrayed again? Did she hear me cry that night until her daddy came home? Did she hear our desperate lovemaking as I tried to pull him away from the woman whose scent he still carried?    
What I couldn’t know was our futures. After more ups and downs, our marriage ended without fanfare, and her father made only rare appearances in her life.    
If I could have written a letter to that young mother, I would have warned her of storms gathering over the horizon. I would have coached her to understand that the little girl whose hair she braided would grow up faster than expected. I would have told her to pray in spite of her lack of faith each morning as she quietly braided her daughter's hair.    
I would have warned that young mother that the boys in her daughter's high school would one day find those shining braids too enticing to resist and that a handsome young man's lusting hands would touch the silvery braids where her fingers had labored each morning for years.    
In that same bed on a night I never suspected, with only Julie’s glassy eyes and an unworthy boy looking on, my daughter whimpered with pleasure and a sense of mourning as she spread to open the warm passage from little girl to young woman.  
Written by Nizana
Author's Note
A comment from MadameLavender on my poem, Surrender, prompted me to write this little reflection.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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