My toddler is reaching that age where she could conceivably remember tidbits of our daily activities when she's grown. I'm constantly wondering which memories will stick in her strawberry blonde head 20 years from now.
One of my earliest memories of my mom was holding her hand during church on Sundays. Our sacrament meeting was over an hour long but I would just snuggle next to her on the pew and hold her enormous hand in mine. I would turn it over and study it intently while dry sermons of Faith and Charity blew past my uninterested ears. The strangeness of her aged adult hand compared to my young fresh one never failed to fascinate me. I remember rubbing her boney knuckles and wondering why they protruded so drastically from her hand. Fat blue-purple veins jumped from her skin and pulsed faintly. I pushed them down but they would spring up again full of blood the instant I removed my finger. I would lift her hand up until the blood drained from the veins then drop it to my lap and watch them fill again. There were oh so many creases, divits and imperfections on her hand to be memorized and rememorized each Sunday at church.
I now have my mother's hands. Besides my ugly short nails, they are similar to hers in every way including the web of blue-purple veins that run over them. There are wrinkles around the webbing of my fingers and you can easily feel each and every bone and tendon in my hand with a soft touch. Somewhere along the road, my hands grew up. I look at Pixie's soft little pink hands with familiarity. I used to have hands like that. Now that I have my mother's hands I have to face that I have her similar responsibilities.
I worry about making every day a happy one for Pixie. Everything is a potential memory. Reading books in funny voices, painting her nails, Eskimo kisses, high fives. I can't tell which (if any) of these things she will remember of me when she's grown. I love my memories of mom's hands. Which memories will Pixie have? My earrings? My prickly legs? My off-key singing?
For now, it seems Pixie's favorite activity to share with me is putting on make up. I'll usually let her rub some eye shadow on her eyelids or put on a little blush while I get myself ready to go out. Today I accidentally left my makeup kit too close to the edge of the counter and found her in the bathroom with my Clinique Berry Freeze lipstick half eaten in her mouth. I sat down on the floor with her, rescued my chewed up lipstick gave her a crash course in make up application (or as my mom calls it, "putting on her face.") Soon she had multiple layers of sparkley eye shadow, full mascara, a powdered nose, frosty pink blush and all kinds of lipstick activity in the mouth area. Surprisingly, she's quite the pro at using the blush brush and eye shadow applicators. When she was finished, I held her up to the mirror and she instantly started saying "Pixie messy" over and over until I gave her a tissue and let her wipe off most of her lipstick. If only 1/2 the women in L.A. had such qualms!
Maybe this is a memory that she'll have when she's 26. Or maybe it will be the memory of me yelling "shoot" all the time. But hopefully she'll only remember the good stuff. And hopefully I'll remember to buy some new lipstick before church on Sunday. Mom, don't be shocked if I hold your hand in church next time I come to visit.