Beginning when I was five years old, my mother braided my hair before school. Every morning, my mother would take out my braids from the day before and brush my hair.

I sat on the kitchen stool that had a footrest that opened out. My mother always had the radio on and we listened to classical music. I think this is why I love music so much. 

I listened to music written by Bach, Beethover, Vivaldi, and many other composers. My mother took out the long braids and began the long process of brushing my hair. I would yell, “Ouch,” and my mother would say, “Sit still!”

She would braid my hair into two long hanging braids. Sometimes, she pulled my hair back so tightly, I felt as though I would not be able to close my eyes! When she was finished braiding, she tied green or blue ribbons on the ends of the braids.

When she was finished brushing and braiding, we would pull all the long hairs out of the hairbrush. I took the hair to the back yard and spread it out on the bushes that had little red berries. (I was warned never to eat those berries. They were only for birds. If I were to eat them, I would become very sick.) 

Then, in the summer, after the new young birds were already flying, and were finished with their nests (we call them fledglings), we would find my hair woven into many of the nests. 

Here is a picture of me ready to go to first grade. Look at the braids! I actually was able to close my eyes after all.

And I know that the young birds and their parents found my hair to be good nest-building material. I loved having the birds in our back yard.