perfect – part one



After Katie’s parent-teacher conference, the girls and I arranged to meet friends for a scoop of ice cream at the mall. Granted, it was an ambitious endeavor, but Brooke was enticed by the promise of chocolate in the middle of the afternoon and well, it was worth a shot, right?

With the help of my iPhone, she made it through for much longer than I would have expected, but eventually she needed to walk.

What Mama needed was some new eye shadow. OK, fine, so no one actually NEEDS new eye shadow. Please don’t nit-pick. It’s impolite. Anyway, in what can only be described as a bout of amnesia, I completely forgot who the hell we are and suggested that the three of us head over to Sephora. You know, cause that’s such a good idea.

Have you ever been to a Sephora? If there’s even the slightest bit of girly-girl hidden anywhere in your DNA, go. The store is set up in long aisles, each stuffed to the gills with products .. glorious, sparkly, smelly, shiny, colorful, glittery products. And every single one of those products is open and available to TRY! It’s Katie’s idea of heaven. She begs to go there just to smell the perfumes and puff the glittery powder puffs and paint our lips with shiny gloss.

But all three of us? Really? That sounded like a good idea?

Let’s reframe.

Aisles full of different textures! Things to TOUCH! Millions of tiny glass pebbles in the jars displaying the make-up brushes! Rows and rows of open tubs of colorful creams and powders! Waxy, smooth lipsticks! Open tubes of sticky, gooey, shiny gloss! Have I mentioned that my daughter lives for textured, tactile adventure? I may as well have brought a coke addict to the local crack house. Not the best plan.

I did what I could to direct Brooke to things that I thought would cause the least amount of destruction. The glass pebbles in the brush jars seemed like a good place to start, but eventually we had to move from them if I was going to look at eye shadow.

Katie and Brooke stood next to me as I bent down to look at a color that the shop girl had recommended. I smoothed it onto my hand to see it on my skin. I’m pretty sure the process had taken approximately twelve seconds. Maybe thirteen. Which was just enough time for this –

“Um, Mama. Look what Brooke did.”

Not exactly the words a mother hopes to hear.

My youngest daughter was doing her best impression of Godspell Jesus meets dime store hooker. She had a shock of ruby red lipstick not only smeared across her mouth, but also drawn into a blurred approximation of a heart in the middle of her forehead. The lipstick was still in her hand.

Oh. Dear. Lord.

I got Brooke cleaned up as well as I could, thanked the nice lady for her time, and told her I’d come back the next day sans my little Godspell Jesus slash harlot in training. Then we ran for the door.

Leaving the mall, we passed through another store’s make-up department. Since I always like to compound bad decisions, I took a ‘quick peek’ at the nearest counter. At least I held onto Brooke this time. Katie climbed up into a chair and looked at herself in a handheld mirror. And then dropped it, shattering it all over the tile floor.

The ladies were extremely kind and accepted her apology as graciously as humanly possible. They were simply pleased that she wasn’t hurt.

Katie, however was a wreck. She cried all the way out to the car, wracked with guilt for having been careless. I reminded her that no one is perfect. I told her that she’s a kid. Kids drop stuff. It happens.

“But Mama,” I wasn’t being careful, she said with a dramatic sniffle.

“No, baby,” I said. “You weren’t as careful as you could have been. But you learned a lesson for next time. In the meantime, please understand that EVERYBODY makes mistakes. No one is immune from them. No one is perfect, honey. NO ONE. As long as we try our best, that’s all anyone can ask. And most importantly, that’s all we can ask of ourselves. OK?”

She said, “OK,” but I wasn’t convinced that she really got it.

Until the very next day, when she threw my words right back at me – and showed her mama in no uncertain terms which of us REALLY needs to get the message.

To be continued.

* image from

18 thoughts on “perfect – part one

  1. lol LOVE IT!! and you can NEVER ever have too much eyeshadow or lipstick!!! 🙂

    PS Gotta go to Sephora on Monday to get my warmth mineral makeup!!

  2. *sob* No Sephora near me. 😦 And, for the record, I really wanna see a picture of your little “Godspell Jesus slash harlot in training”…REALLY!! I can almost picture her. *giggle*

    • I wish I’d had the presence of mind to snap a photo. I was so concerned about getting us the heck out if there, I didn’t think to, dang it!

  3. oh…I love Sephora! Was just there yesterday morning. Wow, never thought of what it would be like to take my kids in there! Especially Owen! He too lives to touch things! It would be a disaster 🙂

  4. Sephora is my mother ship. And a girl ALWAYS needs eye shadow!

    At least you have a girl! You should have seen my little boy doing his RuPaul imitation!

    You WILL laugh about this one day, I promise! And I agree- the saleswomen at Sephora have seen FAR more unusual images so no worries!

    Can’t wait for part II!!!!

  5. just woke up and it’s my new favorite thing in the afternoon: drinking coffee, reading through the blog list, finding a new jess post. and a cliff-hanger to boot! she likes the mischief, that one. must be stressful at the time, but…i have to admit…they make for good stories. at least for those of us reading about it afterwards, not having to explain a godspell/lipstick incident to the confused mall staff. very curious to read the next post.

  6. I LOVE this story and soooo wish you had a picture! For the record, I have been known to drop a mirror now and then too.


    I’m not sure if you all heard about this blogger Smockity Frocks who wrote a post basically bashing a four year old autistic girl who was in the library waiting patiently to use the computer with her grandmother. Liz Ditz and many other bloggers have weighed in on the vile nature of this woman. Thought many of you would like to contribute. People such as this Smockity seem to find joy in not only mocking four year olds but apparently four year olds with autism. She has since taken down the post (but you can still read it) yet never offers any apology. Oh and she claims to have been in the library to read her bible. Yeah, she should do some speed reading.

    • thank you for sharing this. it’s so hard to see the way our kids can be perceived by those who have no understanding of the challenges they face.

      it was nearly two years ago that michael savage spewed his bile about our children on the radio. i wrote a response then that i think is worth reiterating here. we need to keep talking, sharing, building bridges and creating understanding.

      it’s hard for those of us who are steeped in this world to believe that there are still people like this woman out there. but indeed, the campaign for awareness is a long road. much as we think that there can’t be anyone left in the world who would still judge or ridicule a child displaying these kinds of behaviors, well – this is simply proof that our work is far from done.

      here’s the post i mentioned above –

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