Saying cool is the antithesis of cool, and thus, you must think me a real dolt! I hear you, Blogging Sphere, and I understand your trepidation. I tread lightly in calling myself a cool mom; nonetheless, I have a tale that will illuminate my existential being.
Last year, Carson was in sixth grade. It was the beginning of the school year, and we needed to go shoe shopping. The previous school year, I had been paying attention to the high school girls’ feet, and I noticed girls were beginning to wear Sperry Topsiders. Ah! I love Sperry Topsiders! When I was sixteen they were all the rage, and the fact they were resurging as the in-shoe made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, I planned on buying myself a pair, and I wanted Carson to have a pair, too!
We went into Macy’s and I showed them to her. “What do you think?” I asked excited to hear her reaction.
Without emotion she said, “They’re nice.” Nice? Nice? Cutting edge coolness and she was calling it nice!
“What do you think about getting a pair for school?” I already knew by the look on her face that she didn’t want them.
She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“What’s wrong with them?”
“No one wears shoes like that,” she said to me.
I looked her in the eyes. “Carson, everyone wears shoes like this. All of the high school girls wear them. You don’t want to be cutting edge?”
She thought about it for a split second staring at the shoe, the shoe she knew I was going to buy for myself. I saw her grapple with the fact that I was over forty, she was eleven, and really, how could I know what fashionable shoes were?
“I kind of just want a ballet flat, if you don’t mind.” I wasn’t going to push the issue. She needed to find her own fashion, and she needed to realize on her own that I know what I am talking about when I am talking about fashion. If she thought that this shoe wasn’t cool, then I would buy her ballet flats, which is what I did. She was happy.
A full year went by and it was time to go shoe shopping again. This time, I wasn’t going to offer suggestions. I wanted her to decide for herself. “Carson, what do you want to do for a school shoe this year?” I asked.
“Well, there are these Skechers that all of the 8th grade girls are wearing.” she informed me.
A few days later we were at Kohl’s and she and I walked into the shoe department. We walked the aisles looking for Sketchers. Finally, we found their very meek selection. “If they don’t carry the shoe you want, we can go to the actual Skecher store,” I told her.
“No, Mom,” she said standing in front of a specific pair. “This is the one I want.”
I was dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. Giddy at her selection.
“This is the shoe you want,” I said smiling.
“Yes. Why?” she could feel that I was up to something. I could feel that I was up to something, too. I was having an inspirational ”In-Your-Face-Ha!-You-Thought-I-Didn’t-Know-Fashion” moment!
“I have that exact shoe in that exact color at home in the closet. I have had them for close to two years.”
“This shoe? You own this shoe?” She was incredulous.
“Yep!” I was gloating, I will admit.
“I don’t think you have this shoe,” she said. I wasn’t going to argue. If this shoe was her dream shoe, well, she could get it. I just happened to have the same pair at home.
“Okay, if you don’t think I do, we will check when we get home. Do you want to try it on?” She did. She loved it! She knew that she was going to have the shoe!
Of course, when we got home she tore into the house and went right for the shoe closet. She dug around. Well wouldn’t you know, there it was, her exact shoe, but it wasn’t her exact shoe, it was my exact shoe; the shoe I had had for close to two years.
“You really do have these shoes?” she said to me, shocked.
“Yes, and by my calculations, I had them before the eighth grade girls did.” I said my peace and left it at that.
Two weeks later she came home from school. Meekly, she walked into the kitchen and bowed her head.
“What is it?” I asked. I could tell she was being playful, and she wanted to admit something she did not want to have to admit.
“You were right,” she said ambiguously.
“I was right about what?” I asked.
“People are wearing Sperry Topsiders.” She looked me in the face with all of the knowledge of a child awoken to reality, the reality that I know what I am talking about and that I am a cool mom. “If I would have listened, I could have been the first.”
Let’s see if we ever make that mistake again!