Bus Driver Braids Little Girl’s Hair Every Morning After Learning She Lost Her Mom

Bus Driver Braids Little Girl’s Hair Every Morning After Learning She Lost Her Mom

More often than not, a small but thoughtful gesture can go a long way to console someone going through a difficult time. However, some little acts of kindness are so heartfelt they leave you reaching for a tissue.

There’s nothing as heartbreaking and devastating as losing a parent. It becomes harder tenfold if it’s your mom because you’re genetically predisposed to depend on her for everything.

Just the thought of losing your mom can make you realize how hard life would be without her. You wonder how she made caring for you and others all looked so easy. Losing a mom, especially at a young age, can be an emotionally scarring experience that leaves those left behind with a lower sense of confidence and security.

This was almost the case for Isabella Pieri, an 11-year-old girl in Utah, who lost her mom to a rare illness when she was nine. Since their loss, her father, Philip Pieri, had assumed the responsibility of taking care of her and her older brother, who is now 13 years old. [1]

It’s impossible to mirror a mother’s touch

However, Philip, 47, worked intense hours at a convenience store in American Fork, Utah, and had limited time to spare on both kids each day. One of the significant challenges Isabella and her father faced was braiding her hair every morning.

“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,” he told local reporters. “She’d get mad at me for pulling her hair. I didn’t know how to do it.”

After a while, Isabella’s hair began to grow back, so she started pulling it up into a ponytail. One day, her dad said, she came home with a different style than her usual ponytail. Her hair “looked beautiful,” he said. [2]

On that day, little Isabella had seen Tracy Dean, a bus driver for the Alpine School District, braiding her classmate’s hair. She gathered her courage and asked the bus driver if she could tie her hair too. Tracey said yes, and from then on, she helped make Isabella’s hair before she went off to class every morning.

“I can tell she was struggling with her hair. We usually do two French braids first and once in a while she just wants one braid,” the 47-year-old bus driver said. “I also taught her how to brush her hair. She’d get on the bus and she’d say, ‘I brushed my hair. Does it look good?’ I’ll say, ‘You did awesome.’” [3]

Isabella admits that Tracey’s actions make her feel like she’s a mom figure, and this makes her excited to see what she does to her hair the next day. Her dad is also thankful for Tracy’s actions.

“Tracy didn’t have to step up, but she stepped up to help out. I was amazed,” he said.

And Isabella’s teachers are noticing how her new hairdos are helping transform her attitude, giving her a newfound sense of confidence.

“I just noticed her head was a little higher that morning,” said her teacher, Mrs. Freeze, “and she had a little more of a step.” [4]

Understanding is all we need

Tracy is happy that she has been able to help make such a profound difference in Isabella’s life by doing something so simple.

“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? Not that my husband couldn’t do it, but you know, that’s what mom’s do. They do their kids’ hair.”

It just shows how much we can affect other people’s lives through small actions. A smile, a comforting word, or helping a schoolgirl with her braids can create a huge, positive, rippling impact. When it comes to little acts of kindness, anyone can become a hero in another person’s life and not even be aware of it.


  1. Bus driver lovingly braids 11-year-old’s hair every morning, after learning she lost her mom“, abc7.
  2. The kind bus driver we all want to hug“, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons.
  3. Bus driver braids little girl’s hair every morning after she lost her mom“, The BL.
  4. Bus driver helps braid hair of little girl who lost her mother“, Fox News.
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