My cousin Megan helps care for her boyfriend’s three year old daughter Kailey. Kailey is a really cool kid, much better behaved and articulate than your average toddler. Because Tom and I spent Christmas Day with Megan’s parents, we brought gifts for the kids there. Since Kailey is only three and kids are notoriously destructive, we didn’t want to spend too much on the gift (lest you think I’m a total miser, my kids are getting three gifts each for Christmas, because if it was good enough for Baby Jesus, it’s good enough for them). So Erika and I bought a little purple zippered case and put a small beige (almost skin-tone) eyeshadow, a small bottle of nail polish, and six Lip Smackers brand lip balms. Differing in color and flavor, these were Erika and my first experience with “lipstick” as kids, and we wanted to pass on the tradition. There is really nothing like asking to wear makeup for the first time and to have your mother hand you a tube of 99 cent almost-colorless lip balm to wear on special occasions; it’s a rite of passage.

Kailey. Went. Nuts. While we didn’t end up getting to see Kailey on Christmas day, Megan gave her our gift and she absolutely flipped. Five dollars worth of little kid cosmetics and you’d have thought that we had dipped the whole thing in solid gold and covered it with chocolate sprinkles. 

We went to Walmart today so I could get a few things, and I found myself wandering into the Health and Beauty section. I noticed a three-pack of Lip Smackers in the Root Beer, Cherry, and Dr. Pepper flavors, and I was overcome. Had to get them, couldn’t leave without them.

Putting on the Root Beer lip balm in the car, I was instantly in a much better mood–the less said about my first ride on the Hawaiian public transit system, the better–and surprisingly, slightly giddy. I thought about Kailey. We should all be that excited over the simple things–watching a good movie with your partner, getting excited every time you see a rainbow (every day around these parts), playing in the sand on the beach. Stop and smell the roses, it’s the little things, insert your favorite cliche here. It’s a good way to live.

But the best way to live life? Getting as excited about every little so-called “nothing” event as a three-year-old girl gets over a tube Lip Smackers.