Shopping for the dress, which began months ago, was quite an enlightening process. During our many trips to the mall, I learned these things: 8th grade girls prefer insanely HIGH shoes. They prefer short dresses, lots of makeup, gel nails and "ocean wave" curls set by professional hairdressers. They plan pre-parties, post-parties, photo-ops and sleepovers. In my house, the 8th grade dance was elevated to the same scale as the Oscars and it was hard not to get wrapped up in it all.
But I get it. I was that age once, "in the OLDEN days," as Bella says. I remember being fashion-conscious, wanting to follow the latest trends, that my friends' opinions were paramount in any decision. But what I don't remember is my mom making me prove that I could walk in a pair of covetted shoes. I don't remember strutting around the store, trying not to break an ankle. I don't remember her telling me that it was INSANE to spend $50 on a pair of shoes that would only be worn for the pictures and then quickly exchanged for Converse high tops. And I don't remember her having a panic attack at how quickly I was growing up.
But really, why are hooker shoes the trend? I mean come on! Why do ALL the "in" shoes have to stretch to the heavens on un-Godly platforms? Why do the heels have to be so narrow they make one long for the stability of "old-fashioned" stilettos?
This was the first pair of shoes to come home: (I was not present on this shopping trip.)
Bella couldn't even stand in these for more than 37 seconds. Then she thought she just needed a bigger size cuz they felt TIGHT in her toe region. Ya think!?!?!
"Maybe that's because the extreme and unnatural angle of your foot is physically CRUSHING your toes!" She agreed I might have something there.
So we returned those and after trying on ALL THE DIFFERENT SHOES, we agreed on these:
I approved of this purchase because of the following, completely arbitrary criteria that I decided I could live with:
1) The heel was chunky and stable
2) They weren't sexy
3) She walked all over the store without hanging onto the rounders
4) They looked like Mary Poppins ankle boots = NOT sexy
5) The platform was an inch so it was more like she was wearing a 3-inch heel (fancy math, my husband calls it)
6) Mary Poppins was not a HOOKER!
What it came down to was that I really didn't want my not-so-little girl looking sexy. But deep in my heart, I knew a pair of sexy high heels weren't the real issue. It was just hard to admit that my little girl was growing up.
My little girl, once a kindergartener who cried during her entire "Spring Sing" because too many people were watching her, now had the confidence to don a gorgeous dress, some really high (but NOT sexy) platform heels, and dance the night away at her 8th grade dance. My sweet daughter, once so shy she couldn't easily make friends, rushed from one group to another to hug and give compliments on dresses and shoes. That my baby, once so connected to me that she couldn't leave my side in a crowd of people, happily linked arms with her best friends and boldly stepped into a new stage of life, a stage she was ready to accept. (I'll get there.)
And I must admit, the shoes made all the difference.