Nail Polish Guide for Pregancy
Can you still see your toes? It is the cliched question that every pregnant woman gets asked weekly.
The answer, of course, is no. But I don't need to see them. I know what is there, and when I do get a peek, before bed or when I climb into bed, I am reminded of the love that has covered them for the past three months.
I'm not talking about the metaphorical love growing in my belly - thats a little too sweet for me. I'm talking about the nail polish that has literally covered them for the past few months. The three best pedicures I've had in my life, involving the three most important women in my life.
The first was in September. Scarlett loves getting her nails painted, so when its just the two of us I'll often give her a little pedicure. For the first time, she asked if she could do my nails. I obliged, and she did a hack job, but I loved it. She was so proud and my heart swelled. I told myself I would never take it off, and proudly wore my sandals to work.
Then I flew west to visit my brother for Thanksgiving. My niece, who is nine, noticed my colourful, chipped toes and asked if she could do them over. So began my epic second pedicure. She got out all the colours she could find and layered them however she pleased. To enhance my spa experience, her five-year-old brother got out his toy monster trucks and rolled them on my arms, neck and back. "Do you like your massage, Auntie Sasha?" I loved it. When it was all done, my toes were amazing: yellow, orange, purple, navy, and turquoise. "On that foot," she said, "your toes spell love. And do you see the 'K' on your other big toe? That's 'K' for Christ." She too was so proud of her work, and my heart was full.
That pedicure, chipped and worn, lasted until this week. My mother took me to a spa to get a pedicure in preparation for my labour. Before my first delivery, she had read somewhere that a pedicure could induce labour, so it has become a tradition. She has taken myself or my sister-in-laws out for a pedicure just before her due date for every child. It has never worked, but the ritual has given us a sense of calm and control - a feeling like we are ready for what lies ahead. This is probably her last grand baby, and so when I look at my toes I see her love and support for her extended family as another chapter closes.
The power of touch, and the value of ritual, is not lost on me nor is it new to us. Even in the Bible there is the story of the sinner who came to Jesus and anointed his feet with her hair, oil and tears. It was a profound act of love that connected and humanized both involved. These three women all asked to care for me with no motivation but to connect and share their love. The pride that came with humbling themselves enough to care for another far outweighed their need for the act to be reciprocated and the intimacy of touch restored us both.
So, no, I cannot see my toes. And until this week, a stranger perhaps might have thought, "clearly that girl has no idea how hideous that nail polish looks!" But they would've been wrong: my toes have been fantastically perfect for months.