I was in a recent exchange with an old friend in which I got to express how much I’ve grown and learned from being a parent. Cliche as is sounds, it’s only true. My children have taught me so much about who and how I am, blowing away most of my previously held concepts of who and how I thought myself to be.
And of course, just after making those comments, I am granted an opportunity to experience their reality once again.
Our Lulah is a tough farm girl, make no mistake. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to dress up sometimes. Pink isn’t in her favorite color spectrum, but shiny tattoos and sparkly fingernails are alright by her. She discovered that one of the boxes of fake fingernails in her collection was really for adults. Only a couple of them would have fit her little nails. So she beseeched me to wear them.
I have never in my life worn fake fingernails. Never. In my whole life.
But for my daughter, of course I will.
I had no idea. My simple working hands felt like alien attachments to the ends of my arms. Besides the incredible difficulty I had just applying the nails, I kept scratching myself and banging my fingers into things because I was so distracted by the sensation of the nails, and their extreme length.
Lulah, on the other hand, was completely thrilled.
I felt better when I trimmed them down to a reasonable size.
Lulah was miffed.
So, I have learned more lessons. The lessons never end.
First, I have learned how people who wear fake fingernails feel. I don’t know how they do it, day after day. I respect their dedication to the absurd little adornments, I guess. I wish them well, at least.
Second, I have learned that though it can be fun for my hands to look just a little fancy, I really like my hands, fingers, and fingernails just the way they are. I was so relieved when the first fake nail fell off.
Third, I have learned what I really need to learn time and time again- that it is worth it to play with my daughter in every phase of her precious life.