Saturday, January 23, 2010

In Her Shoes

She came home flushed with excitement - eyes on high beam, her treasures in tow. She had bought a new dress for her very first semi formal school dance ... and new shoes. Coat barely off, she tore into her parcels explaining as she went how she landed great deals on her purchases. She was just about as excited as I'd seen her be about anything ...

She disappeared into the bathroom, and made like Clark Kent. She went into the bathroom a school girl and emerged a sophisticate. I was momentarily shocked at the vision standing before me ...  her tousled hair, five foot ten lanky frame - wearing an above-the-knee strapless black satin dress with an ivory sash. My eyes lowered to her shoes ... her 4 inch  peeptoe heels. I couldn't hide my shock surprise. The mama bear voice was speaking before I could process and edit ... something about the shoes not being age appropriate ... I think I went as far to say they looked like hooker shoes. [Bad Mama Bear - shut up!] Her face fell. I regretted the words the minute they left my mouth. Darn! She left abruptly ... and the joy vacated with her.

I sat there in stunned silence to figure out just what my problem was ...

She isn't my little cherub faced, tom boy Kidlet any more. She is a young woman - and the shoes proved it to me. I've been in a bit of a state of denial lately ... and I only know this because of the sporadic reveals -- you know -- those momentary glimpses of perspective or objectivity that provide clarity. It's cliche to say, but it seems that Kidlet morphed into a young woman overnight.

I rummaged through my hope chest and found them -- her size 2 pink and purple canvas high top sneakers. When I hold them in my hands it triggers a memory reel of Kidlet, cap turned backwards,  running like the wind - usually away from me! Was it so long ago? It is time to let go and let be.

I'm happy to report that I pulled it together, packed my pride, gathered up my humility and made peace with Kidlet. I apologised. I told her how beautiful she looked in her outfit and that I regretted more than I can say taking the wind from her sails and hurting her feelings. I tried to explain that I sometimes forget that she is no longer a little girl ... but rather a young woman, about to turn eighteen - in grown up shoes. I need gentle reminding.

The high tops are stashed back in their special place along with the childhood version of Kidlet. I am reminded that as a parent, there is still so much to learn. And I am trying to learn from my missteps ... and to put myself in her shoes ... but I think I would topple over. 

I love you Kidlet. Rock them shoes!


  1. I don't have any girls, but I have had the male equivilant to deal with and more besides. It is a step learning curve being a mum. We think we've got it sussed and they just grow a bit more and all our constructs are useless and we have to find moe double quick!
    I have a box under my bed with very small shoes and dungerees and shirts and and and...... The stuff of memories on a happy day.

  2. I can so relate to the Bad Mama Bear - shut up! You said that perfectly. Actually gave me some comfort to know that I'm not the only one who lets those slip. Glad to hear it all turned around in the end. Thankfully, my daughter has helped me to better understand and forgive my own mother for those Bad Mama moments. Much love.

  3. Lyn, I just love this most thoughtful and compassion-inspiring blog you keep and share with all of us! Many of the charities you support are ones that I also hold dear and make a part of my own charitable giving.

    I really want to be a part of helping you reach your goal for building a school in Africa. So, for the month of March (would do sooner but Feb is already booked up) my class will be taking part in a lunch fundraiser and all proceeds will be donated to your project.

    The kids are pretty excited! I think change comes through education ~ so thanks for putting it out there and letting us be a part of your dream.



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