One girl stands out from the crowd. She is alternating between skipping and twirling, her teal tutu-skirt a blur of sparkly color. This is a girl who has her own style. I am pretty sure she picked out this outfit without parental input. A teal tutu-skirt over jeans, bright yellow shirt, pink headband with sequined ribbons hanging down around her face, and purple shoes; she is carrying a backpack, and a sequined purse completes her ensemble.
It looks a bit like a sparkly rainbow threw up on her, yet somehow, it works.
The girls who are walking with her are laughing at whatever she is saying. She passes a tube of lip gloss around, and they all pause to put it on, looking in a small pocket mirror that also comes out of her sequined purse.
They determine that it is too cold to swim, and I see several of the girls glance up at the heavy clouds above. "Makeovers," the sparkly rainbow girl announces decisively. "I got a new box of lip glosses on Saturday."
A moment later the girls are gone. I stare at the spot they vacated, almost expecting to see a cloud of color and sparkle hanging in the air.
I remember days like that when I was twelve years old. Makeup was something fun to play with, instead of a quickly applied necessity to cover up blemishes. Afternoons were filled with twirling and laughter.
I never had the confidence to go in my closet and put on every item that made me feel happy on a grey Monday morning, regardless of matching colors or patterns, but I did think about it. I'm thinking about it now. Wondering why it is so important to match, when a teal tutu-skirt with sparkles would make any outfit feel happy, and any day brighter.
The rain is here now, but I already saw a rainbow - before the raindrops fell.