Cleaning the upstairs bathroom today, the one we really don’t use that much because the master suite is downstairs, I found a bunch of Clinique make-up in the medicine cabinet. I don’t wear Clinique any more, having switched to Aveda, but I opened the jar of base anyway, and caught a whiff of a familiar scent, and suddenly:

I was five years old and dressed as Pocahontas and my mother was dabbing base on my pale skin to make me look darker.

I was seven, and watching her do her morning make-up, staring into one of those pink plastic makeup mirrors that was normal on one side and flipped (pivoted really) to a magnifying mirror on the other.

I was ten, and had that mirror in my room, and I would stare into it and try to decide if I liked my eyes or not.

I was eleven, and calling my grandparents to tell them I had “become a woman.”

I was fifteen, and had dyed my hair for the first time, and the dye spattered the mirror when I rinsed it out.

I was twenty-one, sharing a mirror with my mother, as we got dressed for my grandfather’s funeral.

I was twenty-four, and doing make-up for my own wedding.

I was five and fifteen and twenty-five and thirty, and all ages in between and yet to come, and I was struck with a sense of home.

And I called my mother, and told her I loved her.

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