For weeks, my five-year-old daughter has been begging me every day to go back to the salon and get her teeny nails polished again. I told her that if she could go a few days without INCIDENT REPORTS at school or severe obnoxiousism at home, we could go. It took awhile, 'cause she is wild, but today I took her over there. She was very excited and decided that she wanted us to "match," so she went and changed into a black t-shirt and jeans like me. When she came downstairs to show me, she was all beaming and proud.

"Mama? We look just alike now. We have the same hair, and the same eyes, and the same clothes, and the same shoes. We are the same!"

I smile, and tell her yes, yes we are, because that makes her happy. In a few years, she will be horrified to be anything like me, but for now, she wants to feel that connection, that idea that she is of me. It is lovely and heartbreaking at the same time, knowing that these days end so soon, that they have to.

I let her pick out the nail polish at the salon; Flashbulb Fuchsia for her, Totally Tangerine for me. I am down with the orange color and grateful she didn't pick the hideous dark gray that is new for fall. "Why hello! Yes, my nail beds have festered and DIED, thank you!" Ugh. We sit in the big black leather chairs, and wait our turns.

The Vietnamese woman who does my daughter's nails has a nametag that reads "LIZ," but I kind of think that was not her actual name. Liz is kind, and asks her how old she is, and if she has brothers or sisters, and tries to make her comfortable. I look at my daughter in profile. That is my face, or was my face, my haircolor when I was her age, a sandy blondish brown. Her blue eyes are turning green, as one of her older brother's did, as mine did. I marvel that she sits still and quiet and patient, something she never does anywhere else. Liz paints tiny little white flowers on her tiny little thumbnails over the Flashbulb Fuchsia, and they both come over to show me with big smiles. Her hands are so tiny. Sometimes I forget, because she is so verbal and has such a huge personality and is so willful, she really is just a baby.

Fancy Pants Girl and I sit and wait for our sparkly nails to dry, and a grandma sitting by us asks my daughter, "So, are you a princess?" As I cringe a little, my daughter rolls her eyes at the woman and says, "No. I am too old to be a princess. I am in 1st Grade."

We leave soon after, and I see her do that splayed-finger don't-wreck-your-fresh-nail-polish thing like I do as she opens the door to get in the car.