On a Saturday in 1985, I accompanied my grandparents shopping. As they were packing the bags at checkout, I wandered over to the small shoe shop that was inside the supermarket. There in the window they stood proudly, white cowboy boots. I think they may have had a small chain on the side and a small heel. I had never seen anything more beautiful. I remember bringing my Nana over to show them to her. I remember thinking about them for days afterwards, the boots becoming more and more amazing in my head, the more I thought about them. A week later, my Nana and Grandad, bought me the boots. I don’t remember much after that apart from the pure unadulterated joy that these boots were now mine. I was seven.
Last month we attended a christmas event in the Disney store. The store was very busy. Whilst I was trying to keep an eye on the boy amidst the crowds, my eldest daughter fell in love. Her eyes had fallen upon a pair of shiny cowboy boots sitting on a shelf. That night in the Disney store, the children wrote and sent their letters to Santa. As I said, the store was busy, I had no idea what was on their list.
When we were walking back to the car, I was talking to my eldest. Her eyes were lit up with excitement as she told me about what she had seen that night and how these cowboy boots were the most gorgeous boots she had ever seen and that she was asking Santa to bring them.
I hadn’t seen the boots but armed with a vivid description from the enraptured seven-year old, my sister picked them up for me. I first set eyes on them on Christmas eve. Shiny white with a two-inch pink glitter heel. My 35-year-old self thought they were hideous, my seven-year old self would have adored them. I would never have bought them for her. Her Dad would never have allowed her to wear them. These boots could only come from Santa.
So Christmas morning arrived. The flurry of excitement as stocking were emptied and we made our way downstairs where three piles of toys and gifts awaited the children. The seven-year old walked in, eyes scanning her gifts and then she saw them. The boots were sitting there glistening ( there have a glitter finish) under the lights of the Christmas tree. Her face broke into the biggest smile and on the boots went. They have been on her pretty much since. She clip clopped around in her nightdress and the boots that morning. She insisted she wear them with her Christmas party dress. The boots went back on that evening with her nightdress.
I warned her to go easy on the stairs, wearing them, due to the heel, the pink glitter heel. Turns out I didn’t need to warn her. Turns out she can walk perfectly in heels. The boots make her taller, she seems to have better posture when wearing them most likely due to feeling very grown up and special when she wears them so she carries herself accordingly. The boots have given us a glimpse into what our seven-year old will look like when she is older in both a terrifying and wondrous way.
The boots are gaudy and shiny and she loves them. On the rare occasion she hasn’t had them on her, I have seen her just sitting beaming at them. I imagine I reacted the same way almost 30 years ago when my most coveted white cowboy boots arrived into my possession. History repeats itself and maybe one day, she will buy her daughter magic boots.