Harper's new most favorite thing is giving manicures. She runs up to me nail polish bottle in hand and yells, "Mommy, it's time for me to do your nails!" I sit patiently while she carefully paints each fingernail and finger, too. By the time it's all said and done my fingers are covered in polish. But I make a big production out of telling her how pretty they are and what a great job she's done. I wait until it's dry and I painstakingly scrape off the extra paint. What's left on my fingernails I leave even though it's sloppy and not even covering the whole nail.
I wouldn't trade our little manicures for the world. She is so proud of herself at the work she's done. She likes to look at my fingernails for the next few days and take in the fact that I left it on and that I'm proud of it, too. She paints her own fingernails to match although she always scrapes it off within a few hours.
These manicures are like so much of parenthood. Sloppy and messy. But again like parenthood they are also full of pride and joy. I find myself doubting myself and my parental skills. Maybe I yelled too much when Tristan just wouldn't listen when he was trying to jump off the couch for the thousandth time. Maybe I didn't feel like reading that book when Harper asked today. But then she comes up to me with that huge smile and that bottle of nail polish and I know that something is turning out right. How can you not want to make these little people so happy? I try hard to do it all right, but part of it is knowing that things will go wrong, too.
And that's perfect. Just like my sloppy, half-painted nails.