I went naked over 10 years ago.  Naked hands, that is.  No more soaking in pink solution and breathing in air that comes with a warning label.  No more long, polished fingernails in colors like Chick Flick Cherry or Blushingham Palace.  Ever since, it’s just been clip, file, and (sometimes) buff.  And done by myself, I might add.

It was sort of an act of freedom and defiance, I guess,  like when someone decides to go bra-less– only the end result isn’t as…off-putting.  While other moms worried about looking flawless (a common malady in the South), it just seemed ridiculous to be the mother of young children and also try to maintain perfect-looking hands when those hands were digging through toy boxes, cleaning out guinea pig cages and strapping in car seats on a daily basis.  My smooth, perfectly polished nails would last about 4 minutes, the time it took to walk out of the nail salon, open the car door, and attempt to un-jam my cup holder due to a crayon that had melted underneath. Who needs the extra stress?

“Going naked” was also an act of love.  It was definitely difficult, almost cruel, to fish Barbie shoes and pennies out of my toddler’s constantly curious mouth using hands that sported dagger-nails, not to mention trying to deftly maneuver a pair of tweezers when removing splinters from the hands of Child #1. 

So I whacked, and never looked back.

Oh, I’ll admit, I’ve had a few manicures over the years (people do give them as gifts), but they’re still hard to maintain.  A mom just keeps using her hands, only in different ways.  Now I’m sewing on Girl Scout badges and toe shoe straps, helping to glue down Science Fair projects and making batches and batches of Chex Party Mix.  And picking up 26 boxed lunches for the Jr. High pop choir. And helping my 10-year-old play the piano.  And typing this blog.

I’ve grown to like the clean, simple look of my hands. And every time I look down on those hands, I am reminded of the sacrifice I made a long time ago.  Definitely a constant personal symbol of being a good, involved and engaged mom, and a reminder to smile when my kids try to make me feel like I’m not.

But my toes? They’re decked out in a lovely shade called  “Chocolate Shake-speare”.


2 thoughts on “Uncool Hands

  1. so well written. the last line gave me goosebumps. not “scary” goosebumps of course. but you know when you get goosebumps when something suprises you in a good way, and makes you smile? like the perfect song at the perfect time in a movie?

  2. I can so relate to the whole “naked” idea – it’s a symbol of some of the many things we as moms do for our kids. I find it can also apply to other outward things – like hair and make-up! How much more scaled-down I am now at 48 yrs.! And comfort in my shoes, esp. is always a goal. How boring – but true!

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