Monday, March 5, 2012


.. what one simple act of self-love can do. In my crazy days, my thoughts rarely turn to my personal attire or physical beauty. I accept that I am carrying around extra baby weight, that my bangs need trimmed and that too many of my shirts are from the clearance rack at Target and chosen for their size and sensibility rather than expressing personal style. Whatever.

What I cannot accept is when I look down and see unpainted toenails. I immediately feel like a harried mother with Mom jeans who ate string cheese and a Capri Sun for breakfast. (which I do not and have not) Something about not being able to take 5 minutes to paint my toenails makes me feel out of control of my life in a way that very little else does. I can handle clean laundry sitting in a basket for days on end, turning ends of the loaf of bread around so Grant can't see that he is eating a sandwich made out of the last and undesirable pieces, and I can even handle tucking Purslane's too-short jeans into her boots and calling her a hipster rather than the daughter of a woman who hasn't purchased the next size up yet. I MANAGE my crazy beautiful life just fine- playing catch up and cover up with grace and courage.

But I cannot abide unpainted toenails. My Grandfather used to say that you can tell a lady by her feet- I think there is really something to that. In State College my favorite salon offered a $15 pedicure that was polish change only, and I often indulged in those "panic pedis" because in those 15 minutes my life went from anarchy to a merciful dictatorship in which I controlled my destiny and the destiny of my adoring subjects. Post-pedicure, I was immediately patient, loving and kind.

So yesterday when I should have been feeding my children breakfast, I let Grant take over and I sat on the edge of my tub and painted my toenails a 1950's pin-up lipstick red. And I went barefoot around the house all day just so I could see them and remember that one little act of self-love can change the world. My world anyway. Here is what I imagine I look like today:

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