From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

Head to Toe

Now that I’m four kids past twenty-five, my body shows some signs of wear and tear. So when we vacationed at a Washington coastal resort I was—I’ll admit it— jealous of the flat-stomached, stretch-mark-free bachelorettes frolicking in the pool.

When the kids pulled out their swimsuits, I looked pleadingly at my husband, Andy. “Please take them in,” I said. “I just can’t go out in a swimsuit in front of all those twenty-somethings.” He gave me a puzzled look, but took the children swimming while I watched the baby nearby.

That night Andy came in with a mysterious bag, from which he withdrew a bottle of fuchsia nail polish!

“I’m going to paint your toenails,” he announced.

“You’re going to what?”

“Paint your toenails,” he said, taking off my socks.

This is silly, I thought. I don’t even paint my toenails.

But my husband was insistent.

“Why are you doing this?” I asked.

“Because,” he answered, brushing on the first coat, “I want you to know you’re beautiful from head to toe.”

I looked at the guy who’s been with me through fifteen years of bills and babies. He had not only protected me from embarrassment, but adorned me. I thought of those twenty-somethings with the flat stomachs and I didn’t feel jealous anymore. Instead I felt grateful.

Katherine G. Bond

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