I retired a pair of shoes recently. I remember buying these particular shoes because they were too expensive, in my estimation, but, also, too pretty to pass up. They were flip flops on a wedge heel decorated with tiny leather flowers, each embossed with gold. I adored them. You may be asking, “Why is she telling us this?” Who cares that she retired a pair of shoes?” I tell you this because there was an incident involving these shoes that brought out a side of me I’m ashamed of and as I picked those faded gold flowers off of them, I was reminded of it.
My daughter couldn’t have been more than four. She was such a beautiful child, springy head of blonde curls and blue eyes with an upturned nose. She was always happy to see me and generous with her affection. On this particular day, she bounded toward me having made something for me—a card or picture. My gaze turned from approval to displeasure, as it surveyed the offering and fell on the gold flower she had plucked from my “too expensive in my estimation” shoe. My memory’s a bit fuzzy after that because I was possessed. I probably wailed some. I tried to stick the gold flower back on the shoe with no success. I scolded her. I’m sure I mentioned the cost of the newly defrocked item, as if a four-year-old would understand the significance of it. She was tearful. I was fuming.
I wish I could alter this memory. I wish I could go back in time and take her in my arms, congratulating her for her creativity and resourcefulness and admiring her work, but I can’t. It was an instance where I valued a thing more than a relationship, a shoe more than my innocent little girl’s heart. I knew this, at the time, and was torn up inside, but was still too immature to downplay my true feelings. Thank God there’s grace. This was a minor incident; neither one of us was irreparably damaged. I’ve told this story since and we’ve laughed about it. My daughter is still making me things. I keep a special Mother’s Day gift she made me a few years back on my bedside table. I may have to add a gold flower to it. 🙂
Complete the experience. Listen to Laura Story’s Grace.