When I was the mother of two small boys, I wanted for nothing.
They were cute, cuddly and loved their mama. People often remarked, “Don't you want a girl?” I smiled and said, “I'm grateful for what I have.”
And I was.
And I still am.
However … I must admit that when I found out I was expecting a little girl, visions of pink and bows filled my head. It suddenly occurred to me that I lived in a house full of males, making me both strongly outnumbered and completely alone in my girly-girl endeavors.
When my daughter arrived, she had no shortage of adorable outfits and accessories. I would often change her three times a day just to marvel at her latest ensemble. I thought then that I was in girly-bliss.
Little did I know … my joy had just begun.
As my daughter grew, I watched to see how her taste developed. To my happiness, her interest in clothes, shoes and all sparkly things continued to grow. She became my best shopping buddy.
“Mommy,” she would often say on a Saturday morning, in her very sweetest voice, “would you like to take me to Target?”
Suppressing the urge to jump up and down and clap my hands in delight, I calmly agreed and ignored the panicked look on my husband's face.
“Don't worry,” I told him. “We're just going to look.”
Three hours later, we pulled back into the driveway, with me trying to figure out how to hide the Target bags while my husband peered at us from the garage.
I wasn't worried — I had my best defense with me: a little girl who just happened to have her daddy wrapped around her finger.
At last, the age of my daughter allowed us to engage in a time-honored mother-daughter tradition: the nail salon.
We breezed in on a warm sunny afternoon, both sandal-clad and ready for beautification. Since it was my daughter's first trip in, I thought I should give her the run-down on the process.
“Here's what we'll do sweetheart,” I began, looking around the salon. “First …”
I stopped abruptly as my child wandered off, picked out her polish color, and sat down gracefully in a pink butterfly pedicure chair.
I gasped. She was a natural.
I watched with pride as she fanned her hands and toes out to allow a polish application, and, of course, to prevent smudging. She waited patiently during dry time and then delicately placed her tiny feet in her sandals. I didn't cry; but I wanted to.
After a quick stop for ice cream, we made our way home to enjoy the beautiful day. Stepping carefully through the backyard, my daughter headed toward the garden — her favorite spot in the yard. I sighed contentedly and laid back to enjoy the sun on my face. I was on the verge of a snooze until a little voice arose next to me.
“Mommy, look! He's so cute!”
I opened one eye and squinted at the sight above me. There was a small, perfectly manicured hand … holding a muddy, squirming worm.
Yelping, I jumped up abruptly as laughter erupted from all of my children.
I looked down at my daughter, who was beaming up at me as she fearlessly petted the slimy worm.
I sighed. At least she had pink polish on as she did it.