Here’s the song reference.
From the very first time Bugaboo saw a lady with a freshly painted pedicure, she has been obsessed with coloring my toenails; as soon as she was able to wield a crayon, Beanie joined her in her endless pursuit of the perfect waxy pedicure. They have since graduated to markers. Once the two of them discovered tattoos, they graduated to coloring my feet in rainbow hues of marker.
This afternoon, while we were idly watching a special on myths and monsters of the Louisiana Bayou, Beanie remarked that my toenails were looking very colorless, and dashed off the to the kitchen, looking for a handful of markers with which to remedy that situation. She returned a moment later, triumphantly waving a small rainbow, bounded onto the couch, then seized my feet and set seriously about her work.
I should mention two things at this point, to wit: I am wildly ticklish on my feet, and only on my feet, and I am violently allergic to nearly every flower on the face of the earth. One of those facts is well-known to the tribe. Their blissful ignorance of the other is a credit to the nice lady who taught me the breathing technique I tried to use to avoid an epidural with Bugaboo.
At any rate, I practiced breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth as Beanie quite studiously turned my toenails pink and purple. Bugaboo, realizing she was missing out on the fun, sprinted to the kitchen and grabbed her own handful of markers; she succeeded in making one toe green before Beanie informed her it was HER turn to give Mommy a pedicure.
This is yet another one of those times where it’s not funny, and I can’t laugh.
Beanie leaned back to assess her work, then frowned before solemnly intoning, “Mommy, your legs are really, really white. Your legs are like paper. They look so much like paper that I think I need to draw something on them.”
“Okay, Beanie. How about if you let Bugaboo help, though? She really wants to help.” A rather forlorn Bugaboo was slouched against the couch, watching the interplay out of the corner of one eye.
After heaving the kind of melodramatic sigh that only five-year-old girls and Zsa Zsa Gabor can manage, she grudgingly muttered, “I guess so.” With great excitement, two little girls set about adding some color to my legs (I am of mostly Irish descent, and have the skin tone to prove it).
As they worked, I set the cable guide to switch over to music after the show we were watching, then programmed in a baseball game Manie and I wanted to watch tonight (He is a Pirates fan, I am an Orioles fan, and we dream of a 1979 rematch). Once I’d finished, I looked down to see that my right shin was completely covered in wee hearts and flowers.
“Beanie, I like all the hearts and flowers!”
“Thank you. The hearts are because you love me. The flowers are because I love you and I wanted to give you flowers that would not make you sneeze.”
They added some “hugs and kisses,” too.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for Your blessings, who constantly remind me that love is sometimes messy and often does not happen exactly where or how we think it should. Thank you for the wisdom to not discourage them from showing their love in their way, and thank You for their steadfast belief that anything associated with love must have the most vibrant and merry colors possible. Please keep us mindful that genuine love, the love that wishes only the true and lasting good of another, is best seen when it is made vivid, and when it shines forth from every part of us; fix it in our minds that You have given each of us different gifts, different talents, with which to draw all souls to you. Please help us understand that love seeks always to build up, to beautify the lives of others with flowers that will not make them sneeze. Thank you for markers, for crayons, for all the little hands that brighten up my soul on days when the world has told me my work with Your blessings has no value. Guard my heart against the insidious whisper that tells me treasures here matter more than Your rewards, and help me teach Your blessings the same watchfulness.