I like to have my nails painted, but there are a few reasons I don't do it often. First, I don't get it done professionally -ever- because I have a thing about paying for things I can do myself.
That leaves me to actually do it myself. Ladies, you know the problem with this. Time.
For several years, my nails were never painted. I had babies. Babies sucked fingers. Sucking nail polish probably wouldn't taste so good. And, yeah. Time. When would there be enough time to let my nails dry? There wouldn't be, so I just didn't.
Naked nails lasted about as long as my extra baby weight. When I lost the rest of my baby weight, when my youngest was 3 or 4 years old, I celebrated with new clothes and a happier outlook. No more baggy, frumpy tee-shirts. Baggy had become too baggy, and I had to wear more fitted clothing. It was fun to try to look like a girl again.
The toes were first. Painting toenails is just easier because you don't use your toes as much as your fingers. But the fingers had to be done. Maybe not during softball season, but other times of the year.
Little by little, I was getting "myself" back. Myself likes pretty - pretty clothes, pretty jewelry, pretty me!
Then, my youngest child started school. Her kindergarten was all-day, so I suddenly had a few hours of quiet "me-time." I felt guilty taking it… in the beginning. But then, my runs got longer, my coffee dates with girlfriends became more frequent, and I became more relaxed.
There was still plenty to do. I still worked a part time job. And when I signed my book contract, I found out how much more work was involved in being an author. But I could make time for me too. I made time to paint my nails.
I grabbed a hold of that lifestyle. Kids in the morning- me through the day- family at night. And I kept my nails painted as much as I could.
Because I could.
But then I took a few steps back. Something reminded me that I can't be so self-focused. I got a message that said, "you need to be Mom, even when your kids are at school." That message? My daughter's diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes.
She's had a tough go of it. The girl gets 4 shots every day, and at least that many finger pricks. What kid handles shots well, even the once a year shots at the doctor? None of them do.
So, she's reverting to some behaviors we thought we were done with. She's 7, and until her diagnosis, she was making her own breakfast, taking her own showers, and walking everywhere. Now, she wants to be carried, she needs Mommy to wash her hair, and we must make her breakfast. That, and the time of pricking, sticking, recording, checking, calling in, making appointments, going to appointments, gather supplies, and so on, is tantamount to another part time job.
So the time is not there. The nails were naked again, and just as I had worn the same shorts for several days in the hospital, I felt okay again if I kept the same pair of jeans out for a few days. It's a lot easier to focus on my kids- on controlling this disease- if I don't think about my appearance.
The other day I pulled out one of my favorite fall nail polishes. I stared at the bottle and counted minutes in my head. Would they dry before the kids got home from school? Probably.
But what if I'm needed?
What if the school calls and says I need to run over with more supplies? Just pulling my cellphone out from my purse would smudge the polish. What if she came home crying from her high blood sugar, and I was needed to hold her and stroke her hair? I'd get my wet polish stuck in her hair. What if I noticed she didn't have enough of the snacks she needed, and I had to stuff my hands in the pretzel bag? What if I have to test her blood, but I get polish all over the test strip? What if…?
I painted them anyway.
I felt guilty. I was choosing myself above my diabetic child. Over all my children. Over everything else.
Sure, this kind of thinking lines up perfectly with what the world is saying today. "Take care of you. You deserve it. How do you expect the world to come bowing before you if you don't show them you are worth their respect?"
OK, the world wasn't saying "Paint your nails." To be honest, the world doesn't care what I do with my nails, because the world is too busy thinking about itself anyway.
But it's okay. Life goes on.
Painting my nails was message too. I'm giving in. I can't control the disease. I can't. It's too big. (By control, I mean to put it into submission of my whim. We are not ignoring it and letting it go "out of control.") I'm getting that now. Diabetes is always going to be one step ahead of us. We can give her what we think is the right amount of insulin, and she could skyrocket. Or we could measure every last carb, and she will dip below target. I hate that, but that's what it is.
I had to paint my nails. It was a step. Diabetes might go any direction it wants, but I'm not going to sit and wait for it to decide where it wants me to go. I'm not going to put off doing my regular life activities while I am busy trying to predict where her blood sugar is going to go. It's going to go where it's going to go, and I'll take care of it.
One of these days, my little one won't need me to wash her hair. We will allow her to make her own breakfast because she is already counting how many carbs she is allowed to eat. And when she is not counting carbs or checking her numbers, she's going draw pictures, read books, and ride her bike. She's going to dress up pretty and wear her medical alert necklace like purple heart medal.
We have to start somewhere. I started by painting my nails. Now, I'm going to paint my daughter's too.
(The above picture is a stock picture. No actual nails were painted this badly in my house.)
Passion Under Grace,