On impulse, I purchased a bag of plastic beads from the party favor section at Target. I had planned on using them in a future project involving the beads, boxes, and lots of tape. Of course Mama left the bag of beads on the counter so when Amelia and I cooked dinner that night, guess what was the first thing she saw? You got it. The beads.
I’d like to say that I held firm to my original plan and quickly stashed them out of sight, but one glance at the excited expression on her face and I was opening the bag of beads as fast as I could wearing an almost equally big grin. I don’t know if it was female instinct or if she learned by watching someone else, but Amelia proceeded to pull each of the four strands of beads out of the bag and put them around her neck.
This was two weeks ago and not a day has gone by that she has not worn those beads. We take them off for daycare (sometimes in the car, sometimes by the front door), and it’s not always the first thing she runs towards when we get home, but at some point every night I’ll turn around and see my daughter walk into the room wearing her beads. Often she is pushing her toy stroller and wearing her “purse” just like Mama.
Now of course my husband and a few others have made some wise-crack comments referencing Mardi-Gras beads. And I suppose that is what many first think of when they see a strand of cheap plastic beads. But I’m certain I will always think of my little girl and remember how she used to walk around our house wanting to be just like me – and that is extraordinary.