Silver slippers and magic leotards
When I was about 4 (and totally in awe of the ribbon-twirling girls I’d see at my weekly gymnastics class), my mom would tell me bedtime stories about a little girl and her magic leotard. The color of this miracle Spandex garment changed nightly (hot pink! Neon green! Black with red sequins!), but its power was always the same: the magic leotard enabled
me the protagonist in my mother’s stories to fly around town, solving problems and having excellent adventures .
Over the last few years, I’ve gone frumpy. I wear lots of black and white and gray, and I spend much of my time in workout clothes (because I’ve convinced myself that wearing them will encourage me to work out more often. So far, no luck). But without a leave-the-house job or a group of girlfriends to gussy up with, convincing myself that a day with nothing on the agenda is reason enough for a nice outfit has become quite a challenge. And although Miss Lily has quite a wardrobe (thanks to our very generous friends/family members!), I find that I frequently save her cutest outfits for those somewhere-out-there days when we actually have things to do and people to see– and if I’m not careful, I’m going to miss seeing my totally precious, only-one-once little gal in her party clothes just because I’ve forgotten that the everyday offers plenty to celebrate.
So last Saturday, when Dmitri picked out a pair of silver ballet flats for Lily (big sale at Carter’s!), I fought my inclination to point out how a) completely impractical and b) obviously too big for our not-yet-confidently-walking girl they were. Because these shoes? They were cute. Like really, really cute. And there was just something about them– and the way that Lily looked at them as if they were the most amazing things she’d ever seen in her life– that reminded me of my mom and her stories and all of the possibilites that those totally ridiculous imaginary leotards used to hold.
So of course we bought them, and of course Lily insists– as persistently as a 14-month old with a limited vocabulary can–on wearing them every waking moment. And whenever I– no doubt barefoot and wearing yoga pants and a tank top–consider placing those little shoes in the coat closet because Lily has brought them to me so that I can help her put them on…again, I try to remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with a little sparkle, a little fun, and even a little impractical magic. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could use a little more of that in my own life. And while I’m not sure I’m in the market for a glittery new leotard, I think that– somewhere–there might just be a pair of silver slippers with my name on them.