Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back-to-School Week - Glitter Girl

Our guest blogger today is author, Heidi Hess Saxton who shares with us a very precious slice of life from her household and also offers us a beautiful prayer as well.

Glitter Girl: All Dressed Up, and Ready to . . . Read

By Heidi Hess Saxton

"At the charter school my children attend, students are required to wear a few simple basics: blue or khaki jumpers or slacks, solid-color polo shirts or blouses, solid color socks and shoes. “Like little pilgrims,” a friend of mine chuckled the week my back went out and she came over to get the kids ready for school each day. Little do they know, her sensible shoes and socks cover toes painted glittery pink. My rugged little individualist may be a pilgrim on the outside . . . but Glitter Girl is alive and well, as fresh and spirited as she was her first day of pre-school!

She flits into a room full of adults clad in a bathing suit and snow hat, an Elmo slipper on one foot and a Sunday patent-leather number on the other. Her “lovey,” the grubby bit of flannel that she has held hostage since she was old enough to toddle on her own steam, is tied under her armpits, stepping-out-of-the-shower style.

“Mama,” she wants to know. “Do you love me?”

Truth be told, she looks a wee tad schizophrenic in that get-up. But to me she is beautiful, as I tell her without preamble. “Always and forever, my darling girl.” And with that, she skips off to annoy her brother.

Snow pants and flip flops. Tiara and fireman coat. Glittery pink nail polish on nails that look as though they have been digging to China. On one level, her confidence is breathtaking. Her willfulness, on the other hand, can be equally impressive. She steps out of her bedroom dressed for nursery school in one of these get-ups, and expresses her displeasure in no uncertain terms if I send her back to, say, put her tights on over her underwear and find a dress to wear over that (instead of her bathing suit bottom, worn with the crotch over one shoulder).

“She knows what she wants … shades of her mother,” Sarah’s Daddy teases me. I smile, but it is a grim, determined grin. No matter how confident her strut, she always holds herself up to my gaze for affirmation. “Do I look pretty, Mommy?”

“Oh, yes, Sarah-Bear. Pretty on the outside, AND pretty on the inside. And which is the most important?”

“Inside, Mommy.”

“Right. And how do we stay pretty on the inside?”

“By choosing to do good.”

“Yeah! Now, do you know what you need to do to ‘do good,’ Sarah?”

She thinks a minute, then shakes her head, eyes large and sober.

“How about we pick up all those clothes off the floor before you go to school?” She starts to protest, but something makes her stop and – for once – start doing as she is told without pitching a fit. And for that fleeting second, I can point to one more ‘proof” that in the great battle of nurture vs. nature, the rebel gene appears to be a recessive trait.

Now if we can just get the “fashionista” gene to take a break…

Dear Heavenly Father: As our children form their sense of self, may we always image back not simply what we want them to be, but what YOU want them to be. No matter how they came to be entrusted to us – through adoption, foster care, or pregnancy – may we never lose sight of the fact that they are first and foremost YOUR children. They are on loan to us only for a time. Thank you for that unspeakable gift, now matter how strange the wrapping. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Heidi Hess Saxton is the founder of the Extraordinary Moms Network, an online resource for mothers of adoptive, foster, and special-needs children. She is also the author of Raising Up Mommy and Behold Your Mother. Her newest book, My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories, is being published by Tommy Nelson in February 2010.


  1. Adorable story! Love it! I can see quite a bit of my own daughter here!

  2. Heidi, our daughters have the same fashion sense....Fun post!

  3. That was sweet! I have a daughter with similar taste. She's 13 now, and can't have fingernail polish at school (rules) but her toes are always done! :)

  4. That's so cool! Thank you for sharing! It made me smile & I especially like the prayer!


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