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.