Good evening to those in North America and good day/night/fill-in-correct-time-of-day to everyone else abroad,
For those of you kind enough to indicate excitement, the time has come for our first guest author to make an appearance. Mutiny Mama has an adorable little blog you can find at http://mutinymama.wordpress.com/. She’s got a wonderful flare for the subtly (and occasionally not-so-subtle) humor, and a refreshing perspective on daily life and the endeavors of motherhood.
Cheers and please enjoy!
Red shoes and regret . . .
A pair of red shoes occupies one corner of my desk. Amidst a sea of papers, a changing guard of pens and pencils and an ever-growing tower of books that simply must be read – these shoes are the one and only constant.
Once upon a time, many moons ago, they were my very best shoes. Red patent leather, a delicate punch hole trim and shiny, silver buckles – they were everything the perfect shoe should be.
If those shoes were lined up alongside my outfit for the day, I knew something special was on the cards.
But there came a day when those much-loved shoes lost a little of their sheen.
It was the late-1970s. I was three years old and living in an age of innocence . . . or so my mother thought.
On this particular day – I think it was summer – the red shoes were strapped onto my feet and we set off on a grand adventure . . . to the library.
“Ah,” I hear you gasp. Yes, it was a very special playgroup outing – no paint-stained dungarees, over-sized hand-me-downs or miss-matched socks that day. No, sir-ee. This was a day for wearing what was ‘best’.
We arrived at the library and were greeted at the front gate not by a middle-aged, be-spectacled woman urging us to be quiet, but by a workman, trowel in hand and covered in cement splatter. It seems the council was pouring new paths at the library and the warning was clear. “Keep off the fresh cement”.
That was all it took to plant the seed that would grow into this tale.
We were ushered inside. I hate to admit it today, but I was already bored. I remember spying a Miffy book up high on a spinning rack but after repeated attempts to reach it and no help forth-coming, I gave up and trudged back outside.
You know what happened next.
Yes, I made a long line of footprints in the brand new path.
But, curiously and most notably, I didn’t get into trouble.
The workman was so concerned about the damage to my shiny, red shoes that he whisked me out of the grey mire and swiftly deposited me under a tap.
Mum was horrified, but ever so grateful for his thoughtfulness.
It was the general consensus that I was far too young to understand what I’d done wrong. It was an innocent mistake. No permanent harm done.
But today, those shoes tell a slightly different tale. To me, at least.
The leather has cracked, the red has worn through and the silver buckles no longer shine quite like they used to.
As they sit upon my desk, they’re a reminder of that long ago age of innocence when I knew more than I let on and enjoyed a brief spell of life without consequences.
Perhaps that’s why I still love red shoes to this day.