I love my child dearly but I really don’t like to spend money on clothing or shoes for her. She’s been growing like a weed her whole 15-month-long life and finally has arrived at the 95th percentile for height. (This shocks nobody, of course, considering her gargantuan parents.)
Recently, the girl was in desperate need of some shoes, and I decided I could no longer continue sending her to the church nursery in socks. So I asked a good friend to come over during the bean’s naptime, and I headed to one of our local consignment stores.
I anticipated–correctly–that it would have been difficult to sort through bin after bin after disorganized bin of shoes with a one-year-old toddling around the store.
I found myself on my knees, my third or fourth bin in front of me on the floor, trying to figure out whether Little Bean’s chubby feet would fit in each pair I liked. A woman about my age hunkered down beside me to look through shoes. I greeted her in some way, friendly enough, and continued digging.
I’ve mentioned before how strangers talk to me. By “talk,” I don’t just mean “Hi, how are you?” I mean full-on conversations, even when I feel like I am responding as minimally as possible, when I’m not really in a mood to be a conversationalist, when I’m not in the mood for community.
Well, it happened once again at the consignment store, over a bin of shoes. Here’s a snippet.
You have a little girl, too? Yes, I do. What size are you hunting for? Five or six, I think. I'm looking for four or five. Okay. How old is your little girl? Fifteen months. Mine, too, when's her birthday? May. May what? May 4. Sophia's is the sixth. Okay. What did you do for her birthday? We had a cookout. That's fun. I had a petting zoo. A what? A petting zoo. I rented a petting zoo. [I didn't say this, but WHAT? Instead, I said:] That's interesting. I didn't know you could do that. Are you a stay-at-home mom, too? Yes, and a writer. What do you write? Whatever people pay me to write. Like what? Articles, book reviews, essays, interviews, worship services. And I'm a poet. Oh. I'm always looking for XXX [some brand of shoe I'd never heard of.] Once I saw them in the bin next to mine, and another woman saw them, too, and she got them first. Oh. This place sometimes mark their shoes way up. Like this pair here would only be $3.50 new! Okay.
And finally, finally, she gave up shoe-hunting. Or I got up with my bounty to go check-out. I forget which. Regardless, that’s a day in the life of shopping with Elizabeth.
Now you know.
By the way, I scored big time, ending up with four super cute pairs of varying sizes and they all fit her. We even snagged a pair of Toms, which makes Little Bean the hit of all of the college students we know.
She’s kickin’ it.