Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Having a daughter inevitably brings memories of your own little-girlhood to the forefront. It's one of my favorite things about spending time with Gwendy- watching her experience things for the first time and remembering a time when the world was new and wonderfully confusing and crammed full of hidden delights and dilemmas.

Today I painted her little finger nails an iridescent blue (a shade she picked herself at the drugstore). When I was done carefully dabbing color on her minuscule nails and blowing on each one in turn, I watched her gesticulate and wave away invisible fog, showing off her hands to herself like a newly-engaged debutante with a 3 carat rock. I was struck hard by the memory of myself as a child, delighting so thoroughly in my own red fingernails. I kept noticing them-how adult and legitimate they seemed- and went about finding new things to do with them so I could admire how they looked in different poses. Here are red nails holding a dinner fork! Here are red nails flouncing a hanky! How wonderful to feel such delight in something so very simple...

And so tonight, at my girl's insistence, I painted my own nails for the first time in forever in that same blazing blue. And God, but I couldn't help but notice my hands all night- pouring in bubble bath, toweling off a squirmy toddler, tucking a blanket all the way up to her perfect little chin. And I took delight in this simple thing- having my girl and being a girl again with her.

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