“’cuse me,” says my toddler as she pushes me out of the way to reach the bathroom cabinet. She flings it open, grabs the yellow-plastic basket that contains the nail polish, hefts it up into her hands and saunters out of the bathroom without a backward glance.
Intrigued I drop by mascara wand and peer into the bedroom. There lays my husband on his belly with my daughters wriggling toes in his face. With concentrated effort he is painting her miniscule toenails as she watches. He dabs a bit of pink on each toe. She holds up her foot as it she is examining his work. “OTAY,” she announces before handing him another bottle. He repeats the process with the new color. She once again monitors his work before asking him to “Blow ‘dem dry puh-weeze.” He puffs and huffs and blows warm air on her toes as I stand watching, incredulous at this big grown man contentedly painting and drying his little girls toes.
Once she is satisfied that they are dry she reaches her hand in to grab yet another bottle. “Sadie, I think that’s enough,” her daddy says. “We’ve got four coats on—that should do it.”
She pouts and says, “Daaa-deee,” She once again holds up her foot, her big toe right in his face. “A Princess needs ‘Parkles,” she says holding up a bottle of glittery-silver-sparkle polish. He throws back his head and laughs. “A princess needs sparkles?” he repeats in amusement. “Yep, Princess needs ‘Parkles!” she confirms. He takes the bottle and carefully re-paints each little toe with a dab of the silver sparkles. She wiggles her toes to make the sparkles twinkle. “Dat good,” she proclaims as she wiggles a bit more. In that moment daddy and daughter were completely and truly happy.
A princess needs sparkles. I don’t know that at 3 she will remember this moment. It was just another weekday morning to her- just another moment between her and her daddy. A little girl believing that she was a princess and her daddy giving her what she needed to feel like one. She toddled off to school exuberant. In her sandals with her little toes peeking through she sauntered into her classroom and held out her foot to her teacher waiting on the proper ohh’s and ahh’s. After catching my eye and seeing me mouth ‘toe-nails’ her teacher hugged her tight and made a fuss over her big girl toenails.
A princess needs sparkles. The phrase conjures up a warm-fuzzy feeling. Like memories of my daughter happily twirling around the yard in her garage sale dress this one will always be a special memory. One day as she gets ready for prom or…choking back tears here…her own wedding day…I know that I’ll say, “A princess needs sparkles!” I hope she remembers. I hope she remembers that special moment with her Daddy and I hope that sparkles always make her feel special.