She stood there, mesmerized, gazing into her own, curious eyes, and periodically smiling back at me, "Look Mommy... it's ME!" To this, I replied, "What else do you see?" She didn't say anything, but I could tell she was really focused and, as I watched her observing herself, I felt myself observing her and I wondered if she saw the same thing.
I couldn't have been more than six when my parents surprised me with a poorly crafted plastic vanity to add to my collection of all-things-girl. Despite it's unsightly appearance, I LOVED it, and would sit in my room for hours putting on bubble gum flavored Lip Smackers and combing my hair. For onlookers, my vanity time might have appeared to be just that: shallow and unimportant; but for me, this time alone offered a solace that couldn't be found in my Baby Tender Love doll.
As I got older, a flat panel of wonderment (that was usually housed in a spare bathroom) replaced my vanity. Whenever I was feeling sad or confused, I'd prop myself up on the sink basin and stare into it. If I looked really hard, I could sometimes find a tiny slice of the peace that I had felt in my old bedroom so long ago, but more often than not, I'd get distracted by the fact that my eyelashes were incredibly sparse and end up digging through my purse for mascara.
Over the past couple of months, I've been looking for answers to a personal mystery that I haven't been able to solve. Every once in a while, as I'm brushing my teeth or blowing my hair dry, I catch myself making eye contact with an old friend from the past. She looks away before I get a chance to say hi, but I know she sees me and I know she can help. Until she's ready, I'll have to continue to look elsewhere for vindication, but there's a pretty good chance I already have what I'm looking for, I just need to accept what is.
I wish I could remember what it was like to only see the obvious; to completely disregard any twinge of depth and reality, and remain in a constant state of simplistic happiness, but the mommy's club frowns against pot smoking, so I'll have to skip my turn this time. I may never know what my daughter sees when she stares into her reflection, but I hope, for her sake, it's a lighter shade of pink than mine, and never stops smiling back.