Originally posted Jan. 24, 2008
There's nothing quite like watching your baby girl rock-out to Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil." Holly, my platinum-blond six-year-old pixie, loves the Play-Station 2 game Guitar Hero II, mostly because her older brother does. But she holds her own, too. She even has rhythm (which her Southern Grandma says she comes by honestly), as she bops along to the tune.
"My nose itches," she announces as she 'strums' the guitar, so big brother Noah obliges, on his way to his room to hunt for a clean pair of socks before school.
Of course, little Holly's skills aren't limited to playing hard rock. She loves to wrestle, too. People have always commented on "how cute" Holly is, particularly with those striking golden locks, but they've never seen her humble her twice-as-heavy and stunned big-brother with a head lock. The look on his face as he laughs when she takes him down is priceless.
But she's a girly-girl, too. Last Saturday night, as she donned her costume and dainty pink ballet shoes, I applied her makeup so she could perform with the Naperville Park District's Dance program, which presented their dance interpretation of Dr. Suess's book, The Lorax. As I brushed rose-pink rouge onto her cheeks, I considered applying mascara to her virgin lashes. The Director had requested "full makeup," which young Holly has worn only a few times before, but mascara was something new. I showed her how to pout so I could apply red lipstick, while considering the mascara issue.
"How 'bout some mascara?" I finally broached, knowing she would pounce on the opportunity.
"Oh yes!" She exclaimed, clapping her hands together. I almost regretted the offer, as I fished around in my purse for the pink Maybelline tube with the green top.
"Do you have waterproof mascara?" she inquired.
"How do you know about waterproof mascara?" I laughed, stunned that she knows there's a difference. I worry it's a slippery slope, that she'll want to wear mascara all the time, now. "This is just for performances, okay?" I said uneasily, as I carefully brushed the black goo onto her delicate, nearly invisible lashes. Wow. They're really long, I realized, stunned at the transformation.
Careful not to get overly excited, lest I unleash the craziness that happens when young girls decide that the only way they'll look pretty is by wearing obnoxious amounts of war paint, I did manage to tell her that she's beautiful. The deed is done, I quietly grasp, as she peers at her reflection and notices, too.
But that was a whole five days ago. The mascara and the moment have faded, and shouting at the devil with her brother's guitar is now.
I could worry, or I could just clap right along with her. I think I'll clap.
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
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