Sofia sat in the chair with her hands placed lightly on a lap desk as she leaned over to watch the stylist paint her fingernails with polish. It was her very first time. She had chosen pink sparkles for the occasion. Every few moments, she glanced over at me sitting in a near by chair, and grinned with an excitement that I had never before seen reflected so brightly upon her face. She was already wearing the princess dress she had chosen. She decided the dress would be purple, and she was quick to pick out a matching purple and pink tiara and white wand with purple stones. I smiled inwardly that at the age of four she already had such a well developed fashion sense.
Our birthday present to Sofia, other than the drum set (I know, I know, I’m all about the self inflicted torture these days), was a Princess salon appointment. We went the afternoon before her birthday party, and she was so excited to get all dressed up before the big event.
Yet, there was something more to it. I didn’t realize how important this time together was until I sat there watching her so happy in that chair. It was just the two of us and I can’t remember, outside of doctor appointments, the last time we shared a moment like this.
I began to feel the change immediately from the second we were in the car and headed to the store. The questions that continued to fly at me from the back seat were as voluminous as ever, but they had a calming feel to them. It was just us, there was no one else battling for my attention but the cars on the road. It wasn’t necessarily a better change of pace, it was just different.
When I was getting her dressed there was no little toddler scurrying about who required saving from his next oncoming disaster. There was no rushing so that I could attend to the needs of both. It was just the two of us; mother and daughter.
As I watched her get her hair done while she stared at her newly painted nails I had a smile on my face, a tear in my eye, and a total moment of clarity. It was a realization of how special this time was for us. I wasn’t running back and forth from her chair, chasing a little man about the room and bringing him back to our seats. I was able to focus all of my attention on my daughter, and tell her how very pretty she looked. She felt the difference too. She knew that in that moment my eyes were all for her.
When we finished we went to run a few errands for the party, and there was no arguing. There was no running off, no lack of listening, no need to repeat myself constantly. We had each other’s attention. I now understand how very important it is to take time like this. We get little minutes together throughout the average day, but the one on one mother-daughter time is definitely lacking. It was only an hour, but it was enough. I need to remember to take that time, to give us more of these moments.
I would like to give my unsolicited and well deserved props to Snip-its for their part in producing this overwhelmingly awesome four year old glee: