Saturday, May 31, 2008


I took my daughter shopping for shoes today. It's getting too cold for sandals, and black school shoes are not acceptable casual footwear for discerning seven-year-olds. We bought a pair of lurid hot pink sparkly sneakers. And then, as you do when you are sucked into the vortex that is a large shopping complex, we ended up looking around more, buying more. Purple flannelette PJ's with dogs on them for Laura, and a stripey blue jumper for Ben.

After a couple of hours of shopping, we stopped for coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for Laura). We sat peaceably opposite one another, chatting and people-watching by turns. Laura acquired chocolate crescent shapes at either side of her mouth.

Eventually we headed for the car. Laura remarked that when she got home, she'd like to lie on her bed and read. "Oh yes, me too, " I rejoined eagerly.

"You can't lie on my bed to read, " Laura corrected gently.

"Yes, I can!", I argued. "If you scrunch over, we can lie side by side, and each read our books on your bed". Warming to my theme I added, "And when there's an interesting bit, or a funny part, we can read it out loud to each other!"

Laura paused, and then mused, "Well, yes, we could do that. You could read bits to me if they were appropriate for me to hear".

I laughed to hear this small girl speaking in such a dignified manner. Leaning down, I hugged her around the ribs and tickled her. "If it's appropriate, hey Louey?!". She sounded so grown-up.

"Well," Laura persisted, "you might not read it to me if was about someone being injured. Or if someone in the story was saying rude things.... like 'rack off you moron!'."

Just as Laura blurted the words 'rack off you moron!', a man walked past us, and did a double take. Meantime, I walked hand-in-hand with Laura, and marvelled at her innocence. Somehow I thought the world would have tarnished her more by now.

I know that this can't last. But for now I revel in my daughter's trust and purity. I kiss Laura's soft forehead and feel a thickness in my throat. She is all that is good in the world.


Freefalling said...

Do you think I'm missing the point of the story, if I am focussed on the lurid hot pink sparkly sneakers?
Only joking.
Those "kid people" sound a bit of alright.
I might have to get me one.
You know anyone whose got a spare?

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I know the feeling of the thickness in your throat, and revel in those precious moments of innocence.

I thought that was cute of Laura to say that you could read to her, "only if it's appropriate for her to hear."
She sounds awfully smart for a 7 yr.old, but then, she is your daughter.

It sounds like you two had a great time shopping together.

fifi said...

I was struck also by the use of the word much they are told to BE appropriate , and to BEHAVE appropriately.

ah, sparkly clothes.I miss the days. My girl has purple doggy jamas too, and she is quite a big girl!

sweet. I might take my girl shopping today if she's good.

Mimi said...

Hi Jelly, thanks so much for being so faithful in reading my blog. I've been so busy with my job, kids and everything else that I haven't had much time to read others. Yours is always a treat. This post is truly prose and reading about you and Laura is so sweet. I totally get, it being the mom of four girls. The photo is adorable also.


shellyC said...

Revel some more in the innocence of your precious daughter! Three weeks with a class of 6 and 7 year olds and I was amazed at how many have heard or know about too many inappropriate things.

alice said...

I so love this story. The innocnce. An ad for a musical arrived in my mailbox this week. It had a pair of breasts on it. Mister 10 held it at arms lemgth and said "Do you want this?" I said "No, but do you" "Oh NO" he said, shocked. "That's private. And RUDE. It should be ILLEGAL", Obviously we have not discovered girls yet.

Stomper Girl said...

I've got an innocent 7 year old too, and I dread him losing that quality. How great that her wildest stab at inappropriateness only came to Rack Off You Moron. That makes me smile.

Heidi said...

What a good shopping experience! I just remember the awful ones I had with my mom as a teenager. (Sorry, hope not to burst any bubbles... but my mom and I have a bit of an "edge" when we are together, love each other to pieces as it may be.)

This story is wonderful. A good one to share with her over and over as she grows.

Remiman said...

My grand daughters; 13, 9, 7, & 6, constantly amaze me with their intelligence and their innocence.
I enjoy roses in bud, in bloom and in hip. To each season and so it is with our youngsters. I'll enjoy each season of their lives for it's uniqueness.... Oh, and I see you are doing likewise! ;)
P.S. Knowing there are people like you guys in the world makes life worth living.

Alipurr said...

awww. how sweet! my 6 yr old has pink light up crocs she picked herself, and my 4 yr old has neon blue ones....they love shoe shopping too....they would absolutely love one on one time with me shopping

gives me a good idea :)

meggie said...

How absolutely beautiful! I hope it lasts a long time.
Mother daughter time is so precious.
I was a much more stormy girl than my daughter has been!

Alice said...

It's a constant battle to maintain children's innocence, without locking them up, that

Bombarded on all sides with things they don't need to know about - on TV, movies, newsagents, cardshops and billboards - there's no end to it.

Thankfully your children have a balanced, caring and loving home in which to revel in childhood - just like my grandchildren do. (Thank you Shelly and Marcel).

Kerri said...

I would say the same about you, dear Jelly ('..all that is good..'). Thanks for sharing these precious moments with us. There's nothing quite like that beautiful feeling of a mother's love for her children.
I'm thinking about the man's reaction to the small part of the conversation that he overheard :)
I enjoyed the hug and am sending one back..thank you very much Ms. Jelly! xxoxo

thisisme said...

Is it bad that I got completely sidetracked by the lurid pink sparkly sneakers?

I truly loved this post - I love that she is clear on what she sees as appropriate.