The nine year old is always after me to paint her nails.
“Well, yes, we can paint your nails. But first, please cleanyourroompackyourlunchbrushyourteeth and then finishyourhomeworkplaywithyoursisterfeedthepetsputawayyourshoes and don’t forget to practiceguitarhelptheneighborschangetheworld. Oh, shoot – we’re out of time, head to bed!”
So tonight, I was particularly pleased to get ahead of the game for once. I stood somewhat shocked in the living room at 3 p.m. on this Sunday afternoon, which is usually about the time we are beginning our chaotic preparations for the week ahead. The house was clean. We’d been for a family picnic in the taunting, spring-like sunshine. We had all exercised and taken the extra long baths and showers that seem to be necessary on Sundays, making me think of pioneer days when Ma filled a washtub for the whole family on Saturday night. Lunches were packed, laundry finished and folded, and dinner was ready – ahead.
So the girl and I snuck up to the playroom to indulge in some absolute madness: Sunday night pedicures. She pointed out that when she has asked in the past, I’ve always painted her toe nails for her, and could she please do it herself? Be still my heart. I must be some sort of failure as a mother, not allowing her to splotch nail polish all over her toes by herself. Frankly, that’s still pretty much how I paint my own toe nails.
I started at the top: nail-trimming post shower/bath, moisturizing with the house-favorite NIVEA lotion (which I purchased in a twin pack at Sam’s Club for $8.98 – yes please, steal!! Here’s a link to my shopping excursion)… even explaining the goofy-looking cuticle tool. I chose High Impact “Museum of Modern Mauve.” The nine year old, of course, went for a rainbow approach with alternating colors on every nail, and lamented the lack of blues and greens in my polish selection.
The whole thing was part of the NIVEA Million Moments of Touch campaign, and I love the focus on caring for ourselves through our connections to others. I’ve been devouring the website and books by Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project), and have been trying to do a better job of just being present in the moment. I’ll take the small steps that better connect me to the people I love, like leaving the confounded phone at home while going for a walk with the girls and the dog and stripping our shoes off in the cold February day to soak up the sunshine on our toes (necessitating more NIVEA at home). That’s a moment I would have missed if I had been staring at the latest news on my iPhone. One of Gretchen’s best lines: The days are long, but the years are short.
The last piece of the puzzle is cultivating a sense of paying it forward in myself and my kids… pursuing simple kindnesses and thoughtful gestures. That same nine year old struggles with dry skin all winter long, like so many elementary school students who scrub their hands all day long to stay germ-free. We’re probably a bit militant about paying attention to it so that her hands don’t become so dry they are cracked, chapped and bleeding – she puts on lotion on the way to school every day and keeps a little in her bag. She mentioned that a classmate has to go see the nurse regularly because her mom keeps forgetting to buy her lotion and her hands are dry and cracked. So, one of those NIVEA lotion twin pack bottles is heading to school tomorrow, where maybe it won’t be too much of a disruption on the teacher’s desk for the rest of the dry winter weather. Bet it gets a million moments of touch there! And at the very least, maybe it will bring a bit of calm to the day for a third grade teacher.
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Beiersdorf for NIVEA. However, all opinions are my own and declaring my love for NIVEA didn’t take much prodding: we already kept NIVEA lotion in just about every room of the house – it’s the only lotion I use anymore, because it is fantastic! #NIVEAMoments #CBias #SocialFabric