Coming of Age


I knew this day would get here. I knew the time would come.

I didn’t know when it would be. I didn’t know how it would happen.

But the day has arrived. My little girl is coming of age!

You know what I mean. That time in a little girl’s life when she has to start having her nails painted!

Maybe you are wondering how I can be so sure that the time has come for Kenzie.

Oh, I’m sure. Here’s how I knew:

The other night I put the toddlers to bed. They were both restless and having a hard time settling down to go to sleep.

Kaleb finally went to sleep but Kenzie just wouldn’t give it up.

I was downstairs at my desk writing when I heard the pitter-patter of little feet come up behind me.

“I’m scaredy,” she said. “Poppy’s bed!” she implored.

How could I resist all the drama, the feigned fearfulness!

Thinking she might let herself go to sleep if she was in my bed, I picked her up, carried her into my bed, laid her down, kissed her goodnight, and went back to my office and continued with my work.

A half-hour later I heard the door to my bedroom gently close.

“She can’t still be awake!” I said to myself, irritated about the late hour because she had to get up early for school the next day.

So I walked into my room and there she was, standing on the floor and trying her best to scramble back into bed before she got caught.

She had the lamp on the bedstand turned on so I could see that things in the bedroom were somehow out of sorts.

Now, I keep whatever the latest book I’m reading, a few magazines, and a green highlighter hidden (I thought) in the drawer of the bedstand bedside my bed.

She had them all out and spread across the bed!

She had taken the paper cover off my new book and had used the green highlighter to scribble on both the front and back covers and on many pages throughout the book. My new book! I just bought it!

I can just hear my wife saying to me how one of these days I would look at those scribbles all over my book and treasure them. But at that moment it seemed more like she had just vandalized my new book!

Then as I looked around the room I discovered that my book was not all that she had vandalized with the green highlighter.


She had drawn green highlighter graffiti all over the bed sheets and pillowcases of my king-sized bed!

I couldn’t believe it!

I grabbed her up and headed for her room, telling her she had to sleep in her own bed because of the damage done to Poppy’s bed.

She cried as I carried her upstairs to her bedroom because she wanted to sleep in Poppy’s bed.

That’s when I saw it!

She had “highlighted” all her toenails with green!

Yes, she had used the green highlighter to paint her toenails.

And it was in that moment that I knew that she was coming of age!


As I put her to bed with her green toenails I was not only aggravated because she had vandalized my room, but I was despondent because my little girl was growing up.

The time had come–that developmental stage of her little girl life–to start “doing her nails!”

I guess I didn’t expect that stage of life would start at three! They just grow up so fast!

So now we have started nail painting night with Conner having the honor of giving the inaugural manicure and pedicure!.

Of course, Kaleb is not going to stand by and let Sissy get her nails painted without getting the same treatment.

So Sissy gets pink polish, Bubby gets glow-in-the dark!

Meanwhile, I’m learning how to give toddler mani-pedis!

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