I’m terrible at being a girl. I’ve never seen Pitch Perfect, never read a Nicholas Sparks novel, and can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve worn makeup in my entire lifetime (applied by a friend because this girl has no intention of displaying her meager art skills on her face). I don’t own, nor have I ever once worn, a pair of high heels. I’m practical to a fault, and want everything in my life to be functional, not merely decorative. I was born without a fancy bone in my body, and I’m at peace with that.
When our first kiddo arrived in all of HIS glory, I breathed a sigh of relief. I just knew that I was meant to spend my days as a BoyMom – we would hang out on the Island of Sodor, fix broken tricycles, and have lightsaber wars after second breakfast. We would “get” each other.
Imagine my terror when, 26 short months later, my husband placed a perfectly pink bundle in my arms. I prayed with all my heart that she would be a tomboy, but God had other plans. She was a diva from the start, and within a few short years it became obvious that I was out of my element when it came to dealing with my girly girl. She asked for painted nails and tutus, and squealed at the sight of anything even remotely sparkly. Heck, as a toddler she even made digging in the mud look glamorous! She was beautiful and stubborn and seemed to have glitter running through her veins.
When I would point out a butterfly, marveling at the fact that God made them with perfect bilateral symmetry, she’d laugh and tell me how they looked like flower petals blowing in the breeze. When we were choosing the bedding for her first big girl bed and I was agonizing over thread counts and durability, she was standing in front of the set that was most garishly girly, squealing with excitement. We are the epitome of form versus function, and we often find ourselves at an impasse as we struggle to find a common point of view.
As the years have gone by, and we’ve added two more little girls to our retinue, I’ve tried to indulge their fanciful whims when the occasion arises, even though I don’t understand the attraction. Recently a local photographer was offering “sparkle” sessions – there would be fancy dresses, delicate pink treats, and LOTS of glitter. I knew this would quite possibly be their vision of paradise. When we arrived at the studio and my big girl and her little sisters saw the rack of dresses that they were to choose from, something literally blossomed inside them. They glowed. Where I saw impractical, flimsy gauze, they saw a beautiful gown and a matching tiara. While I was inwardly groaning over the possibility of spending the next six weeks picking glitter out of their hair, my girls imagined that they were princesses. In that moment I was floored by the magic that they found in the simplest things. As they twirled and grinned under a shower of golden sparkle, I realized that instead of teaching them how to see the practical details in life, they were teaching me to see the breathtaking, bigger picture.
I’ll never take glitter for granted again.