Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Most Important

I got my nails done on Sunday. That is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures, in my mind. I cheat a bit. I get a “polish change,” which is all the benefit of the lasting color and shine, for half the price. I skip out on the cuticle care and the hand massage; although I treat myself to those luxuries on occasions such as my birthday. But with a polish change, I still feel refreshed and maintained, ready to conquer the world.

But I digress. That’s not really what this blog post is about.

As it turns out, Sunday afternoons are not the busiest hour at the nail salon, which makes it a delightful, serene place for someone who is seeking a quiet hour. There weren’t many of us, but there were two pairs of mothers and daughters also on a mission to self pampering.

I studied them. Politely and inconspicuously, I watched and watched.

They were distinctly different from one another, with very different intentions. In one corner, there was a mother and daughter… they were dolled up. Mom was in her early forties but clearly determined not to appear so. Her daughter was in high school – tenth grade, or so I overheard. Mom was passing on the legacy of beautiful perfection, of a polished appearance at any cost.

This was clearly a routine for them, and their lack of genuine interest in one another conveyed one thing about the manicure: "This is my most important."

But there was another mother-daughter duo. Very different from the first pair, these two were not flashy at all. In fact, they were both a little plain at first glance. They were identical – I could have matched them together in a room of mothers and daughters. They had curly, crazy, frizzy hair; the kind that’s hard to control, no matter what you do. Mom was in her late thirties, and her girl was probably eleven. She was in that awkward stage of self, with apparently no degree of comfort in this chubby body of hers. She had a purple cast on her broken arm, complete with glitter and sparkles. Now that’s an accessory.

Here’s what I loved: this was their special day. This was not about expensive personal maintenance or a perfect appearance. This was about a special day for the two of them, to boost her confidence in these final weeks with the cast on her arm. This was about mom’s realization that her daughter was in the most awkward life stage, and there is a very short list of cures for this ailment. But, the short list can include a mom who really likes you and some freshly painted nails. They carefully chose colors, and they admired each other’s finished, polished look.

Everything about the two of them said, “You are my most important.”

I loved it. The three of us dried our nails together, and I chatted with them – about the broken arm, the purple glitter, and the Girls’ Day Out. What a beautiful duo.

I want to be that kind of mom. Of course, there are no manicures in my boys' future... and unless God sends our girl someday, that will continue to be a solo outing for me. But my boys can expect lots of upcoming dates, quiet afternoons, and adventurous outings with mom, and I want them to know always, always:

You are my most important.

1 comment:

My name is Stephanie said...

Love this blog! But I have to say this line is hilarious: "Mom was in her early forties but clearly determined not to appear so." That may have to go on my blog!