Friday, September 30, 2011

My Nose Warmer

When I was 6 or so (I remember I was in first grade), my mom bought my sister Nicole and me nose warmers.  What the heck is a nose warmer? Well, it looked a lot like a teeny hat with a pom pom on top.  It sat on your nose, and strings tied behind your head.  Mine was yellow, with a yellow, red and blue pom pom.  I don't remember her reaction when she gave them to us.  I think she was very matter-of-fact, though, because we took it in stride.  "It's cold outside.  Do you have your coat? Hat? Mittens? Nose Warmer?"

Nicole and I were walking to school wearing our nose warmers, and we saw some other kids - Big Kids.  Of course they took one look at us and busted out laughing.  I was devastated.  That afternoon when I tearfully told my mom what had happened, she asked, "Were their noses red?"  sniff, yes.  "They were just jealous of your nose warmer."  AND I BELIEVED HER.  I wore my nose warmer proudly after that, until sometime over the years I lost it.

I love this story, because to me it epitomizes the innocence of childhood.  Our parents know best, and would never have a chuckle at our expense.  Those children weren't laughing because it was hilarious, they were laughing from jealousy.  In the spirit of this memory, I made my daughter Marilyn her very own nose warmer.

She was 3 at the time.

My niece Sophie, at age 10, asked for one for Christmas.  She was much more secure with herself than I was at that age.  When my sister Andrea warned her that she might get laughed at when she put it on for school, she said "Let them laugh."  Someday I hope to be that bold.

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