L. has a gaudy ring, probably acquired out of some grocery-store quarter machine that she gave me to wear. I put it on for five minutes or so to humor her, and then put it away in a little bowl that I keep rings in.
Weeks later, she fished it out and said “Wear it!” So I did. It happens to fit. And while the first moments of wearing something like that out in the world were a little weird — “What IS the cashier thinking?” — it’s fun to pull off flash like that. It’s cheap and sparkly and without my daughter, I’d never have even thought to wear it.
L. likes to dress me for nights out, shooting herself right into the bathroom as I dress to start the committee meeting on my appearance. Generally, I disappoint her regularly. My flat shoes always elicit a “Really??” sigh, and my earring are much too restrained and non-dangly. She does her little pout. I soothe her by letting her swipe a little mascara on her already gorgeous eyelashes.
This is a fun part of having daughters — the shocking pink barrettes that I sneak into my hair, bracelets made out of thick rainbow-colored wool, the handmade earrings with five orange beads on them. I love wearing all of them like badges of motherhood.
But the ring I’ve been wearing a fair amount. It’s turned into a nice secret hug when I go about my day looking at it, a bond between her and me. I like that feeling so much I may wear it even when her taste has moved on to the classier and more expensive.
But right now, my newly-9-year-old wants her mother to sail out into the world with it sparkling on her finger. How can I resist?