Jessie asked me the other day, “Mommy, why don’t you wear dresses and paint your nails?” I was torn between laughing hysterically in her face or beginning a tirade on the pressures of balancing family and work. Instead I opted for: “Jessie, we’re late…go, go, GO!” Which I guess is a more efficient version of the tirade.
I used to do both those things but searching through mounds of nylons for one pair that does not have a run can add a precious two minutes to the morning rush. “Don’t mess with the dress” became “don’t mess with a dress.” I’m lucky if I have a clean shirt to match my slacks.
Manicured nails gave way to washing dishes, grooming poodles, and, again, finding thirty spare minutes to sit still while your nails dry. Add a seven year old that does not understand “smudging”.
But Jessie’s question nagged at me for several days. I don’t want to be the “old” mom. I clearly remember wishing my mom was a little younger at times. My parents were at least ten years older then most of my friends’ parents. My mom didn’t understand things like pierced ears, bikinis, or eye shadow and mascara. She was fine with a dab of lipstick and a small compact of face powder. She usually put it on in the car after urging, “Shelley, we’re late…go, go, GO!”
I want Jess to know that she can ask me style questions. I realize we won’t always agree. Hopefully future disagreements will be more about clothes then tongue piercings or tatoos but I, at the very least, hope she will value my opinion from time to time.
I do paint Jessie’s nails quite often. She has such tiny hands it usually involves me basically running the brush over the entire tip of her finger and telling her the paint on her skin will wear off eventually. However, I decided we should have some real “girl” time. I bought some new polish, put on my readers and we did this:
It was a perfect hen and chick party. We talked about her birthday party. Who she wants to invite and how she wants to decorate. We talked about her little boyfriend, Jack, at school. We talked about how her skin looks like her dad’s and how white I am but how we both have brown eyes. She asked me if I ever had long hair and her goal for her hair is to grow it like Rapunzel.
I received more than I bargained for with this girlie time. Plus the added bonus of discovering a polish that has lasted for five days without chipping. I’m aiming for Sunday nights during “quiet” time for the mom/daughter manicures.
Imagine the treasures if I can make this last until college.