aha moment, growing up

My Rain Boots


I came into possession of my first pair of rain boots way back when I was 38 (I’m 39 now).

I bought them myself at Costco. I had always wanted a pair of rain boots and decided it was worth the ($20) splurge since I would probably wear them to walk my older daughter to the bus stop on those days when it had just rained or threatened to rain and I didn’t want to soak my other shoes.

Rain boots never seemed to be a very practical purchase to me. I couldn’t figure out when I’d wear them or how to wear them and get away with it. Weren’t they only for children? And I never really happened upon rain boots at a time I could make the purchase. Even when I saw them in Costco, I wasn’t quite sure they were worth the money. I knew I was taking a chance that they would just sit in my closet for the rest of their days and I would never see that $20 again.

To be honest, the fact that they were $20 greatly influenced the nonchalance with which I put them in my cart. I’m not sure when it happened, but $20 has become a normal price to pay for one item. This is one of the signs that I’m getting older. And a sign that my maturity has yet to catch up to my age is that I wanted rain boots because my friend has some that are cute. She wears them to the bus stop, too.

When I was choosing between the three designs Costco made available to us — The Members — I made certain not to pick a design too similar to my friend’s. I didn’t want to match. I just wanted to have some rain boots of my very own. Finally.

And so I chose a pair and continued hunting the Costco store for necessities. When I returned home, I brought the boots directly to my closet even though I knew they may never leave that tiny, windowless room.

But then one day, the fabled afternoon came: it had rained. There were puddles on our street. Any other pair of shoes would have soaked up the water like an old rag. I needed my rain boots.

And so my small preschooler and I started the trek down our street to the bus stop. She in her stroller, me in my rain boots. What I expected to be our usual stroll, wasn’t. Something changed as I walked in those new rain boots. As I approached a puddle that I would normally step gingerly through, I just walked. I stepped a normal step, full weight in my gait, not caring if my feet got wet.

It was as if my new rain boots gave me a superpower. It would be a lame superpower for a real super hero, but for 38 year old me in my first pair of rain boots walking to the bus stop to get my first born child, it was a fitting power indeed; it was the power to not care.

Until I walked down my wet street in my new rain boots, I didn’t know that I had ever cared. But when you obtain a level of protection that you know cannot be penetrated after having had no protection at all, it changes you. You walk a little taller. You feel a little stronger. You don’t mind getting your feet wet.

At least that’s what happened to me when I wore my first pair of rain boots.

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