Shoes

A pair of shoes can change the way you feel about your life. If you have never experienced the joy of a fabulous pair of shoes, I hope you have at least experienced admiring a really awesome pair of kicks from afar. The shoes that change your day don’t have to be expensive – take it from my four year-old.

The other day when I was in Target by myself (no doubt for cheese or some other pseudo-necessity), I happened to wander into the shoe section. Being the selfless mother I am, I scanned the clearance section to see if there was anything in my girls’ sizes. Of course I did this after I had added a pair for myself to my basket, but whatever.

I found nothing for my eight year-old — she’s getting harder to shop for — but found two amazing deals for my growing four year-old. One pair was a running shoe, which she is sorely lacking. And these were purple and pink, which is perfect because she had just declared those as her favorite colors. And they were marked down to less than $10. The other pair was also under $10, and I was sure they’d be her favorite as they were a purple, sparkly, mary jane style shoe.

When she got home from school that day, I showed her the boxes and she tried on both pairs immediately.

“Mommy!” she said, “These are just what I wanted!” She was referring to the running shoes. “Now I have the perfect running outfit and I can go running with Daddy this weekend!”

The exclamation marks are an understatement here. It’s not like she doesn’t have shoes, but what she has are Twinkle Toes and some old, beat up, too small Converse. These new running shoes, she asserted, were big girl shoes and would allow her to go running like the rest of us do.

I felt a bit guilty for not having purchased a shoe like this earlier, but honestly she had some a few sizes ago and I just hadn’t found the right pair at the right price in the right size until now. (Thanks for coming through for me, Target.)

Did you know that there are children in the world who would be exactly that excited to receive a pair of shoes? But not because they would allow them to run; new shoes will allow them to go to school and improve their health by protecting their feet from cuts and infections — because they currently have no shoes at all.

Though her new shoes are from Target, the shoes we had to throw out were TOMS. She had worn them through, holes and all, because she loved them so much. TOMS matches your purchases one for one and when you buy a pair of shoes, they give a pair of shoes to a child in need. TOMS and Target will be collaborating later this month with a range of products, all of which will be part of the One for One program – I can’t wait to see what the collection looks like.

But for today, I am thankful that I can just waltz into a store and buy shoes for my child any time I want to. (Full disclosure: I don’t actually know how to waltz.) It made my heart glad that I was able to brighten her day, but it makes me deeply thankful that it was absolutely no trouble for me to do that.

My little runner, all ready to go.

My little runner, all ready to go.