As many of you know, I’m the main representative female of the species for my sons. Of course, they interact with other women and girls; but they get most of their understanding of how the whole girl world works from me.
Talk about pressure.
And I’m not the most girly-girl out there, so they know almost nothing about hair products, perfumes, make-up and the like. It cracks me up, however, when they do latch on to something that intrigues them about my appearance.
Take my nails. I’ve never understood wearing nail polish because it takes approximately 52 seconds for it to chip or peel with my busy life. Within minutes of sitting there, bored in the chair for a manicure, I’ve ruined it with dish washing, laundry folding, sandwich making and glue sticking. I’ve always loved to get pedicures, but I’ve just assumed the manicure world wasn’t for me.
And then recently, I decided that maybe I would try this whole gel manicure thing. I’ve noticed friends in the States who enjoy a good gel manicure and I’ve shied away from it thinking that I don’t have the time, or that it’s too frilly for me.
I have found myself, over the years, enjoying adding a bit of extra sparkle to my appearance. There are so many ways that life can be difficult, and it’s fun to weave in sparkles to the things that I can control and to brighten up my own little area.
So, I carved out the time and had my nails done like this:
You should have seen the conference when I got home. “Look at Mommy’s nails!” “Oh, Mommy, they are purtty!” The best, however, was when my ten year old thought I had dirt stuck to my nail and tried to brush off..the cute little silver heart that was there. We both got a good laugh about that.
When it was time to take the polish off and to potentially do it again, there was a family conference, of sorts, held. With Israel Independence Day approaching, everyone wanted something that had to do with Israel. “You need an Israeli flag!” “No, Fireworks! Fireworks!” I went to Pinterest and we all started looking through the 4th of July pictures for ideas. Yes, my 6, 8, 10 and 12 year old sons were holding a conference about my next manicure.
“Show me! Show me!” They each yelled when I got home.
“What happened to the fireworks?” the little guy asked. I explained that the fireworks were a bit complicated but that I had the sparkly silver fingers and the flags, and that seemed to satisfy the masses.
I didn’t realize, however, just how much the kids enjoy being involved in these processes until today. As my ten year old headed out the door, he said, “Mommy, I’ve been thinking about it and with Shavuot coming up, I think you need nails that have barley and grains on them. Then you can have a cow on this one, and a Sefer Torah on that one….”
Laughing, I said, “You know, buddy, she can’t do everything. But we’ll come up with something together, ok?”
That seemed to satisfy him enough to go off to school.
And I marveled at the ways that my boys surprise me and the energy with which they approach things that you would assume wouldn’t interest them. My nails have become a bit of a family project. I assume the kids will grow bored of them at some point, but for now they are a “gel” that binds us together in pursuit of fun, creativity and beauty. I enjoy seeing their enthusiasm and having something silly that brings us together; and I enjoy teaching them that there are many simple ways to have fun and that I don’t take myself too seriously.
I’ll let you know how the Shavuot nails turn out. Moo.