Shoe Shopping (Ruth’s SOLS 27/31)

“I’m double excited with sprinkles on top,” Sam said on our way to my parents’ house. “Papa and I are going to have a grrrrrreat time!”

“Not as much fun as we’re going to have with Mimi,” Stephanie countered.

The argument, er conversation, continued about who was going to have the most fun — Sam and Papa at home with dominos and marble runs or the girls, Hannah, Stephanie, Mimi, and me, going shoe shopping. (Although my money may have been placed on Andy, who enjoyed the rare occurrence of being home alone.)

My mom and I love to go shoe shopping. Since it has been something we’ve been doing for several decades, we have perfected it to an art form. This is the third time we’ve taken the girls. Mom started a tradition when they arrived home of buying them Easter shoes. The first year was not pretty. Last year was a little better. This year was fun.

Stephanie is a decisive shopper. She walks in, peruses the choices, and makes a decision. Snap, snap, snap and she is done. She spends the rest of the time trying on funky, ugly, or ridiculous shoes while waiting for Hannah.

Hannah is not decisive.  She wants a pair that are hideous. Then she pouts when she doesn’t get them. Then she tries on and tries on and tries on and tries on and . . . Stephanie topples through on red patent leather high heels. I refrain from correcting her, because it could be worse. Plus she offers encouragement to Hannah, “I love those gold sparkle ones, they are perfect for you.”

Mom and I look at one another, knowing Hannah will never get those. I crack a joke. Mom offers understanding. She’s so good at that, I think. If only I could be more like her. Hannah smiles and tries on and, finally, makes a choice.

“Oh, wait! I’ve changed my mind!” she pulls the other pair off the shelf. “This one, this is the one I want. I’m positive,” she smiles at us. “Thanks Mimi.”

Thank you, Hannah, for choosing, I think to myself. Hannah ended up with the gold pair (sans sparkles) and Stephanie walked out with hot pink flats. And what about me, you might ask. Ahhh, Mom bought my Easter shoes a few weeks ago. I’m saving them for a post all of their own.

Shoe shopping with Mom yielded new Easter shoes, but also something more important. It reminded me what it means to be a good mom — patience, understanding, and a loving spirit. Although I hope to still be buying my daughters shoes in decades to come, it is more important to me that I grow up to be like my mom on the inside. Then, perhaps, I’ll be able to count this whole parenting-gig as a success.