makeover magic

“After school is out. I am getting this long hair cut,” my daughter declared last spring. I didn’t understand her delay. We had time any afternoon after school, but she had her own plans.
The first day of summer vacation she sat in the beauty parlor describing what she wanted and asking for the beautician’s advice. She came out looking marvelous. And she knew it.
“We need to go clothes shopping. And Mom, make my appointment with the eye doctor. You promised I could get contact this summer.”
“I will,” I promised, but I forgot, what with our clothes shopping trip for her birthday gift and her being off to camp for a month.
The first day back from camp, she reprimanded me, “Mom, it’s almost July, make my appointment.”
“I think I have to call the insurance company first,” I said.
“So call them.”
I wrote “call insurance” on my list of things to do.
The next day I assured her impatience. “The insurance company is sending the papers I’ll make the appointment as soon as I get them.”
She waited restlessly. Since early childhood, she has needed the very thick glasses to see anything more than the blur of the world. The thought of no more coke bottle lenses magnifying her eyes seemed reason enough to her to bug me about every detail, every day until we walked into the ophthalmologist’s office.
The doctor said she required a special kind of contacts. We had been setting aside money for months for contacts. I ordered them.
Shortly after the phone call announcing the contacts’ arrival, we dashed into town for her fitting. Perfect. Minutes later, we were heading for her best friend’s house to show off her new contacts.
How does one show off contacts? I still haven’t figured that out. She looked like she did every morning for years without her glasses.
Her friends admired the invisible corrective lenses and we went home.
She wasn’t through with her summer of transformation. We had to go shopping – several times for eye make-up: All those wonderful options in art that never show up behind thick glasses. Mascara, eyebrow brush and a palette of colors to accent her deep blue eyes.
Her sister-in-law brought her a stack of clothes from the city. Bit by bit my butterfly emerged from her cocoon of childhood.
A couple weeks after she got her contacts, I was standing at News-times counter answering questions about a wedding announcement when this blonde walked in wearing a pink, knit shirt with delicate embroidery. After an initial glance at her, I literally did a double take. “Ohhh, you’re my daughter!”
The first day of school though was the final test of her transformation.
“Hey there, girl friend,” my daughter called across the hall to her friend the first day of school.
Her friend turned and looked. “It’s you! I’ve been long wondering all day who that girl is.”
Her summer quest for a new look had succeeded.