It’s not a special day.
Not your birthday, not the anniversary of anything special. Nothing big.
You are asleep, and I suppose that in its own right is cause for celebration.
First of all, you are beautiful. You hear it every day now, all the time, but because the world is the world and things go the way they do, you’ll hear it less and less as you get older. I promise you, though, it will always be so. As long as I live I will tell you, even when you stop listening.
I worry sometimes that I’m not a very good mom. Just a few nights ago, I bathed you, dressed you in your pajamas, and told you (because I was apparently in a very girly mood) that we were going to paint your fingers and toes. You immediately knew what to do, holding your pudgy fingers as still as you could muster, cupping your knees while you pointed your toes….suddenly I realized, watching you, that I taught you none of that.
For a moment, I was incredibly sad. I envisioned you on a therapist’s couch with tales of a hardnosed, stern mother who never let you be a girl. Mommy & Me dresses, curling irons and makeup…’Mom’ memories. Mother and daughter.
Then I thought of all the moments of memories you’ll have of the people who did teach you proper nail-polish behavior….cuddled up in Karen and Jerry’s living room with a bedsheet as a movie screen; curled in Aunt Amanda’s lap in a corner of Nana’s couch; perched atop a barstool at Granna’s with artsy Aunt Steffie holding the polish brush. I realized it didn’t matter who taught you how to be still for nail polish, it matters the memories you carry with you…memories you’ll always have, and I can’t be selfish with that. You have so many people who love you, sweet girl, and you deserve a chance to hold them each in a special place.
Besides, I’m crap at polishing nails. I’ll teach you something useful one day, like how to pick a lock with a credit card. I’m excellent at that.