Last week after naps, I gathered my tribe of small people to zip coats and buckle seat belts. While out running errands we shopped for nail polish and birthday party things (my sweet Natalie has turned FIVE).
I’ve never bought five bottles of nail polish before, but I suppose that’s what happens when you have two daughters who love nail polish?
Oh, the tiny details of life. They are the important details, this I know.
You can probably guess what I did once we returned home…
While dinner baked, the wet polish dried. While my girls sat at the table with their hands squishing paper napkins down, I peeked around the corner to catch glimpses of their happiness.
I could feel it.
It was lovely for me to experience, because motherhood can be so slow at showing a return on investment.
A couple of hours passed, the kids were in bed, and I finally agreed to paint my own nails this color. It’s something I really love to do, something I’ve done as long as I can remember, but also something I haven’t done much of this year.
Four children, you know? Someone always needs a little help, someone always wants/needs to hold hands, and I don’t dare count how many times I push down on the soap dispenser.
This year, my hands have been busier than ever.
But last week I came to realize it’s the tiny flash of color on my nails that I long to have accompany me throughout my mothering days.
Throughout this intense, busy, joyful role of motherhood, it’s the flash of color that helps my soul settle.
Amongst all the beige and nude and taupe, the repetitive rhythms of our day, there ARE vibrant colors to be found.
Are we looking for them?
Motherhood is more than the white powdering of bottoms.
It’s the squirt of red ketchup on a plate.
Teeny tiny blue LEGOs.
Motherhood is golden hair running down the hallway.
Abstract lines of purple marker (drawn on her arms and legs).
Motherhood is hardly green, mostly yellow leaves collecting just inside my back door. Don’t blink; this season is soon be changing.
It’s the color of dark broom bristles sweeping leaves back out.
It’s the pearlized bubbles floating up from the sink.
Motherhood is a pile of pink on their bedroom floor: books, babies, blankets, backpacks.
And just as rewarding, although in such a different way, motherhood is pulling your fellow sisters alongside as you squeeze them tight to affirm: you are loved! you are doing hard, important work! your sacrifice is seen by Him, these are not wasted efforts! come over anytime for a meal, my door is always open for you.
And so, the tiny flashes of color painted on my nails reminds me of the many ways I care for those around me.
Color here; color there, too.
Our lives do have beautiful color.
The question I beg to ask is this: do we only see beige and powdery white? Or, do we see the vibrant, colorful flashes of motherhood?
May you see the vibrant colors of your mothering, today and aways.
PS. from the MWD archives: 10 easy ways to grant yourself the gift of self-care, and a simple shift of the mind