In Her Shoes.

December 19th, 2011

They practically scream her name the minute she walks in.
The shine, the glitter calling her over. Her little face wide open to the delight before her.
She hadn’t yet imagined this possibility, but now it is right before her.
And she hopes.

Yet, she is pulled in another direction, the one of her mothers.
The adults speak; something about size, colour, season.
Odd things really, she thinks in her little mind now filled with sparkles.

She sits, boxes appear.
Her bare foot ready, poised for dressing.
Dressing up in all the fantasies of a little girl.
Ready to dance and skip and fly.

But, her mother doesn’t know about these dreams.
She has reasons, errands and more to do. Always more.
The shoes are bought, they fit well.
They do not sparkle.

As they leave the shop,
The mother says something about “practical”
The little girl doesn’t know what this means,
but is quite sure it doesn’t sparkle.


Footnote: This piece was written a few years ago during my daughter’s sparkly phase. She no longer likes sparkles. Perhaps I write this as a confession, I think I may be responsible for de-sparking her. It’s a heavy burden.

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  1. Libby says:

    I think Charlie Shedd, one of the books I read as a parent, encouraged me to say ‘Yes’ whenever I possibly could. Of course, like you, I often didn’t…but I started using it more. Perhaps your shoe story will have the same effect.
    Thanks. Libby

  2. meg says:

    Thanks Libby, yep -we learn as we go.

  3. Julie-anne says:

    When I was making my First Holy Communion as a seven year old, we were told we had to have a white dress with veil and black or white shoes.  My parents were adament I would not have the right color shoes, but would wear my brown dress shoes.  This was a HUGE thing in my life.  I didn’t want to wear them.  My lovely Nan who was a perfect fabulous dressmaker (as a hobby) made me a long sleeve plain winter dress, drop waist with pleats. I had lovely veil. All my friends had frills, lace, and white or black shoes.  Same when I went to high school, my school uniform required brown shoes. My feet were always a bit difficult but the narrow brown shoes that looked a little green where the toe was very narrow stood out. Sometimes I think it’s best if children should have the correct shoes and the pretty things.  I understand the point and they are more practical, but there are times …

  4. Kat Russell says:

    The sparkle is brighter when it comes rarely.
    I remember begging my mother for a white fake bunny fur jacket I discovered in a store. It had a “diamond” pin on it. The most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She bought it. This was a huge surprise to me. She rarely bought the treasures I begged for.
    This jacket made me feel beautiful when I wore it to church for years. 
    Thanks, Mom! 

  5. meg says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories!

  6. Margaret says:

    I’m with Kat on this.What possessed my mother to buy me jeans?And the wonderful striped cotton cardigan? Most of my clothes were hand made by someone who really didn’t really like sewing. 6o years later my grannnddaughter loves those dresses as I never did.The moths alas got the jumpers.But I am most definitely also with you Meg.Heck often I even de sparkle my grandchildren. I can’t bear to think which will be remembered…All I know is I want to be buried in red shoes! I am fairly sure my mother never bought me those (though I do buy myself them!!!).But when she was 90 or so she unearthed the salutary tale of the red shoes (she hoarded books as well as clothes!) and we both  spent a very entertaining 15 minutes or so reading it.Thanks Mum.Like Richard Rohr says- everything belongs.

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