I am not very good at painting nails. I never have been. Very tiny, detailed things just have never been my forte. Add in some super small 5-year-old fingernails (or even worse those tiny baby toes), and I am bound to paint all over the skin around the nail.
Yet, each and every time I take the time to do a spa event with my girls, they praise my work. Like they just had the most luxurious mani/pedi, they tell me how much they love them and how beautiful they are. And even though I know the truth, I soak in every second of it.
If there is a pony tail already secured, I can do a mean braid. But, french braids, whew, that is a whole different story. I can do basic ponies, side ponies, pigtails and even use a curling iron for some curls, but my french braid game needs some work. Yet, when I take the time and practice on my girls, no matter how loose or uneven it is, they always tell me just how much they love it.
This stage we are in is quite honestly the best. I am their knight in shining armor — yes, women can be knights, at least in my book. I can literally be awful at things and they love and appreciate it anyway. It is a type of affirmation that I have never experienced before being a mother.
Can I Hula Hoop? Uh, I can try! And that is enough. No, I can’t keep it rolling for long, but they will give me tips and tricks to make me better. The fact that I did it was more than enough for them.
Gourmet meals? Not my thing. Daddy is the cook, and they know it. But I sure can cook up some delicious mac and cheese, heat up some hot dogs, cut up some cucumbers and peel/slice an apple. Best. Dinner. Ever. From the praise I get, I am clearly rocking it as a mom.
Can you do a backbend? Um, no. But the other day, I had Paul throw me in the pool (you know, one foot cupped in his hand) and I did a back flip in the air. OK. Maybe not in the air — but partially. My head may have been in the water. And he may have tweaked his wrist, and my back cracked about 17 times. But that was the coolest thing my kid’s mom has ever done. And I am definitely still riding that high — and maybe still feeling that pain, too.
I can swing on the swing set and, “Whoa, Mama, you didn’t even break it,” blow some of the best bubbles and even hold my own in a water balloon fight. In my kids’ eyes, it is pretty much like I am the coolest mom there will ever be.
And believe me, I am totally digging it. Although saying, “totally digging” is probably not very cool. But right now, at the ages of 7 and 5, my girls think everything I do is cool. I can bust out an off-tune singalong or start doing the Mama dance to my own rhythm and all they want to do is join me.
And yes, I have heard of the eye rolls and sighs to come, but I am not ready to even think about those yet. Right now, I am the queen. In fact, the only time I do not rock is when I have to lay down the law and request picking up for the night or the ever-despised bath (which I still do not understand since we have been doing baths since like — um, their whole lives.)
Look, I know what is coming in 5-7 years (and it better not be before that). I know I will not always be the most awesome person in their life — and that is OK. Well, I will probably be a hot mess, so please send condolences and wine when that happens.
But for now, I am totally living it up. I am pretty sure that never again in my life will I be completely unjudged and entirely loved for just giving my all and being the big goofball who goes all in.
Who cares if there is a little bit of fingernail polish on the skin around the nail when I get done. It will wash off eventually in the pool. But, did you see their smiles when I finished my work? I did. I live for that.
And I live for these girls and every single second that they adore me. I realize being the “best mom in the world” won’t actually last forever, But for now, I am completely rolling with it.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.