After her mother died two years ago, 11-year-old Isabella Pieri has learned to take care of herself, getting herself ready for school each day. Pieri’s father works an early shift and has worked to step up as a single parent. But one thing left him baffled: how to do his daughter’s hair.
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“I originally just gave her a crew cut because I didn’t know how, and it was all tangled, and I couldn’t get it out for anything,” said Pieri’s father, Philip Pieri, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Pieri regrew her hair and began pulling it back into a ponytail each morning before she went out to catch the bus.
Then, one morning, Pieri noticed that Tracy Dean, her bus driver, was braiding another child’s hair, and Pieri admired the style. She summoned up some courage and asked for Dean’s help.
Dean told Pieri that she would be happy to lend a hand. And she started braiding the girl’s hair.
“It makes me feel like she’s a mom pretty much to me,” said Pieri. “And it makes me excited for the next day to see what she does.”
Now, every morning, Dean does Pieri’s hair before she leaves the bus.
“You can’t be shy. You’ve got to talk to them,” Dean stated. “You Treat them like your own kids, you know.”
Dean admitted she had had some personal struggles, so she can relate to Pieri’s situation.
“Seven years ago, I found out I had breast cancer, and that’s one of the things that went through my head – who is going to take care of my little ones?” said Dean. “Not that my husband couldn’t do it, but, you know, that’s what moms do. They do their kids’ hair.”
After Dean began doing Pieri’s hair, even her teachers noticed a change, stating that Pieri had more confidence.
Pieri’s father appreciates the help but, more so, that his daughter is happy.
“Tracy didn’t have to step up, but she stepped up to help out,” he said. “I was amazed.”