I have been searching for winter wear for my kids for weeks now. Although we'll be soggy when we're tubing, and dirty when we shovel muddy piles of the white stuff from the driveway, fashion is still a high priority when choosing just the right gear.
I call it "Egostylin'"; the idea that money is no object (since these kids aren't laying it out)and that the world is depending on them to look a certain way whether or not we can see those pink snow pants in twenty-one inches of snow.
My son has almost everything, but we're stuck on boots. We've run into some issues when it comes to his footwear: Not only do they need to be "ego-right", but they've got to be sturdy, very, very waterproof, and not cost as much as an iPod,which is a problem because he's wearing a men's size.
I was sent to Kohl's by the "ego-midgets" to look for, among other things, black moccasins. Seizing the opportunity, Max came with me, and I told him to find boots while I searched the rest of the shoe department. A few minutes later, he caught me looking for Mary Jane platforms instead of the moccasins,(Hey! If you live with it long enough, there's bound to be some "ego-leak"!). Luckily he was on a crazy "ego-high" and didn't notice that I looked like a scoliosis patient in dire need of a brace. (I was only wearing one heel and was tipped precariously to the left)
He excitedly announced that he had the perfect "solution" to the winter boot problem...TOE SHOES!
And so he began "egotiating". He said, "What Mom? They're more waterproof than any boots, they're cheaper, and I'll even give up my cell phone if that's what it takes..."
I knew that it was a ridiculous idea. One stride into a snowdrift and his ankle would be painfully cold. His feet looked webbed and frog-like as he wiggled his toes and smiled at me. They wear mittens instead of gloves in the cold because separating the digits makes your hands freeze more. The same had to be true of the toes.
But at that moment I was proud. My little boy was growing up. Despite the fact that Toe Shoes are man's ode to stupid ideas, my son had let go, and was prepared to give up an "ego-device" for the greater good.
I had clearly done a good job with him, but suddenly another feeling crept in. What about my reputation? I had to wonder, would his friends still think I was the cool parent if I agreed to let him give up his phone?
Uh oh...is there such a thing as "ego-transference?"
CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a
hilarious group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in
the waiting room of the doctor's office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.