Monday, September 9, 2013

Impossible Things

"It is inevitable", I told him.

"It is impossible", he told me.

"Just keep trying", I told him, trying not to sound condescending when I added, "It's probably so easy for me because I've been doing it since I was little."

He stumbles and grumbles attempting this simple task, and I try not to laugh out loud as I watch.  You know, I really like this man.  This man, this professor and scientist, this math enthusiast who talks about statistics, and not the baseball kind, like other guys talk about football, who spent his Saturdays in high school doing calculus, not for a team, or for a club, but for fun.  Just good old fashioned fun.  The man who has run 25 or so marathons, and had to be hospitalized after three of them because he would not stop running when his body was clearly begging him to Please Stop Running.

Those things weren't impossible.  They probably didn't even register as hard.  Tying a ponytail up in a hair tie?  Impossible.  His fingers get all tangled and mangled in hair and elastic and he gives up the whole effort.  For a while.  But in a house with three girls who need hair pulled out of their faces, it is nice to have him step up every now and then, and so he tries again.

And would you believe it, after years of trying and failing, he tried and succeeded. Mastery!

"Now", I tell him, "it is time to learn to braid the hair."

"It is impossible", he tells me.

"It is inevitable", I tell him.

"I can't do it", he tells me.

"Just keep trying", I tell him, and I try not to sound condescending when I add, "It's probably so easy for me because I've been doing it since I was Hallie's age.  You know really, I should probably start teaching her to braid.  Then even if she can't do her own yet, she could do Hanna's."

Then he looks at me with the look that says, I Am Not Going To Give Up On Something You Think My Five Year Old Could Do.  Thus he tries again.

Seeing him on the edge of despair at ever learning to braid last week, I finally caved in and told him, "You know, when I was little I learned how to do braids with ribbons.  Do you want me to cut you some ribbons? You can sit on the couch and practice while we watch the Care Bears movie and cuddle tonight."

I think he thought I crossed a line with that last bit, but that method worked for me, you know?

Next step after braids?  I made him promise to learn how to cut my hair.  Hey, I do his haircuts, don't you think he could learn to cut mine?

We shall see.  We shall see.


  1. I learned to braid hair on my Cabbage patch dolls because their hair was yarn and thus easier to braid.

  2. I have been braiding for as long as I can remember. Just your simple average braid. I cannot French braid. Impossible I say! ;) kidding. I could learn if I practiced. Fish tail braid looks impossible, but I'm sure I could do that too if I gave it a good effort after watching some YouTube videos. I cannot invision myself ever letting my husband cut my hair though. Unless of course he went to cosmetology school...or we were just shaving the whole thing for brain surgery or something. Haha. But really...I don't usually trust professionals. But good luck! And good job Devin on the hair tie mastery!

  3. Have him practice on a my little pony (if u have one), or a Barbie or something. that's awesome :) good job Devin.

  4. Jeff is always saying he will cut my hair, but I am afraid to let him. But good for you for teaching Devin all these things!! I am always making Jeff try too, and it is not amazing but he does try it. Growing up with a single dad, I wish he had learned how to do it and I always tell Jeff that he must learn it in case there is a terrible accident, because Minnie will still need to look presentable.

  5. Sometimes when I read these little exchanges, I fall a little bit in love with your marriage. :) So cute. And in love with your writing.

    You can do it, Deevs!!

  6. Oh, and you mean regular braids, right? Not french braids? Because I'm pretty sure you didn't learn how to french braid until you were a teenager. I could be wrong though.

  7. Jeremy calls them "Daddytails", he is finally at the point where he can get them evenly placed on the girls heads and get almost all of the bubbles out. I remember teaching him how to do them and thinking, "Of course he doesn't know how to do this, he's never had to" And it made me laugh too. I never thought about teaching him to braid though, that might be next on the list!

  8. Sorry, that last post was from me, Emily Monroe, not JR (my husband's google account)

  9. Love it! What a great man you have!

  10. I've already started teaching Marley to braid on my hair just in case, he could already do pony tails, although on kids it will be different. I love the way you wrote this post. Tell Devin good luck for me, he'll get it eventually.