Here is a brief magical moment in time that reminded me of a fairytale.
“Rihab, your hair is like Rapunzel’s now. So very long”. I brushed Rihab’s long black hair.
Rihab laughed as I passed the comb down her tresses freeing them from knotty tangles.
“Mama, all my friends in school have their own phones. When can I have one?” Rihab asked.
“Beta, you are only eight. I don’t think you need a phone at this age.”
“My friends play Roblox. They meet each other online and have these made up worlds they talk about all the time in school.”
“Oh. How do you feel about that?”
“I don’t know. I know you don’t like me playing such games. That’s why I started playing block craft. It’s just me playing games by myself in my own made up world.”
“Rihab, you do understand why I don’t let you play Roblox, right? I don’t think it’s safe and I can’t sit with you all the time monitoring you.”
“Yeah, Mama. I know.”
“A friend of mine is on TikTok. She’s always doing these dances. She told me that I dress like a kindergartener.”
Tiktok at eight? Am I the only crazy Mother living in this world who thinks that eight is too young to be on social media?
“Why did she say that?” I asked.
“Because I’m always wearing dresses. And she’s always dressed in Hip Hop clothes”.
“How does that make you feel?”
“I just told her that we are both different. I love dressing like a Princess. I don’t like dressing up the way she does but I don’t ask her why she dresses like that.”
“Yeah. Good for you, Rihab.”
I smoothed out Rihab’s hair and wished I could bottle my Princess. ‘Please stop growing up so fast’. Perhaps I could build a fortress to protect her innocence and purity. How long would I keep her like this following my rules? Is this why Rapunzel’s Mother hid her away in a tall tower? One day, she’ll be on her own with her phone, be on social media, play whatever version of Roblox that is out there, and more that I don’t want to think about. Till then, I brush her hair and cling onto the present ever so tightly.
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