Tiny crescents

If I die people will know because of how long my kids’ nails get.

These are the 2:33 a.m. reflections of someone who has been up feeding an infant every three hours, on the hour, for weeks.

I am truly beyond grateful for this glorious tribe that surrounds us. In fact, there are not words that express my sincere appreciation for it.  We are blessed with incredible friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family.  Both of my parents live nearby, as do my in-laws, and each of them graciously watch all three of our little ones at least one day a week.  My husband is the best and has no trouble scooping up our gaggle of kids and heading out the door for an epic bike ride or a simple stroll to the neighborhood coffee shop.  And yet, to this day, even surrounded by all of that unbelievable love and support, I am the only one that has ever clipped our kids’ finger and toenails. Not that I’m expecting our friends to give my kids a manicure, but in that moment, it hits me.


I am solely in charge of 80 finger/toe nails (98 if you include the dog, whose I don’t personally cut but still need to monitor).


For some reason, this makes me feel like I am one school-bused sized vehicle away from a reality TV show on the TLC network. The responsibility feels heavy, but not in a terrible way.

Not long after this revelation, we went out for an evening stroll and started searching for the moon which is something that I love to do. “Look mamma!” my daughter exclaimed as she was the one who spotted it first. “The moon looks just like a fingernail clipping!”

There is no escaping our responsibilities, even in nature.

When I was younger, I got a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records for Christmas. I remember flipping through the glossy pages and coming to the photo of the person who held the record for longest fingernails. I wanted to look away, but I never could. Those curly nails protruding like petrified serpents haunt me to this day, and now it is my job, and my job alone, to make sure that my kids don’t end up like that.

It is good to be needed in a way that is unique to you, I tell myself. Sure someone else could cut their nails, but it wouldn’t be exactly how mom does it. That makes me special, right? Plus, this is just a phase. Soon they will be all grown up,  and I will probably be begging them to let me trim their nails. “Please!!! Just ONE little pinkie!?!?”  Did I mention it’s 2:33 a.m.?

Just as I start to feel melancholic, one of those little daggers swipes frantically across my face, its owner in pursuit of a milk supply, and digs right into the bottom of my chin.

I accept my fate.

If you need me I will be on a couch somewhere sculpting my legacy one clip at a time.

Marissa Niranjan reflect

Marissa B. Niranjan is a mamma of three, wife of one, and is just trying to navigate life one phase (and fingernail) at a time.


  1. Especially good this month!!!! The mundane and the monumental. The physical and philosophical. Not to mention that I chuckled out-loud!!!! Oh, and I’m heading to the spa for a pedicure. Note to fingernail clipping mom: when you reach 70 you can no longer reach your toes comfortably so you are back to depending on someone else to clip your toe nails. Full circle.


  2. This made me smile. Don’t worry about the kids not needing you. My eye sight is waning and soon you may need to take on the responsibility for your mother’s finger and toenails… Love you!


  3. I know that fingernail picture! Maybe we looked through that book together? Last month I was telling Sterling about it and she said, “Ew, gross!” Funny thing, in my household chris is the one who does the nail trimming :). I love you sweet friend. Thanks for the smiles.


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