Recently a friend gave us a big bag of hand-me-downs. They included a bunch of clothes for Thomas, and for Mary, several pairs of boots, some pajamas, one particularly gorgeous dress, and one pair of gold sparkly high heels that are just her size.
When the kids got home from school, I had all of the clothes sorted into piles and Mary went straight to the gold shoes like a heat-seeking missile.
Mary put them on her feet and in that moment she found religion.
Meanwhile, as her mother and chief dream-destroyer, I haven’t really decided how I feel about high heels. She’s only six. That seems young for high heels. But why? Why is maturity linked with high heels in my mind? If not six, then at what age are high heels appropriate? (It’s also important to note that these aren’t five inch stilettos. They’re a slight wedge.) I feel the same way about pierced ears. I don’t have a really well-thought out reason for when and why it’s ok. (Mary hasn’t asked about earrings, so for now it’s a non-issue.)
Mary asked me to wear the shoes and I said I wasn’t sure. She responded with weeping and gnashing and teeth.
I told her that she for sure couldn’t wear them to school, and she immediately peppered me with, “What about church? The gym? Birthday parties? Playdates?”
Me: I’m not sure, Mary. High heels make it hard to run fast and climb, and shoes should never limit you from playing and having fun.
Mary: I’ll be ok! Please, Mom!
Thomas: Mary why does your voice sound different?
Mary: That’s the voice I use when I’m trying to get Mom to do what I want.
(Thomas was actually asking about Mary’s voice because she has a bad cold and can’t breathe through her nose at all. But the idea that she thought she was swaying me with her sweet voice made me laugh.)