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Archives for : September1955

Gloomy Mommy

The last two weeks of weather could be described with one word – wet. And maybe leafy. But that’s more than one word. Fall had done its duty and dropped all the leaves from the trees. The sidewalks were slippery and deep with layers of multi-colors. Stevie enjoyed wearing his galoshes every day because he could jump into every puddle. He forgot to carry his shoe bag one day to school and his teacher made him walk around in stocking feet all day. Thank God there were no holes in his socks. I would have been mortified.

My mood was as dark as the skies and I baked bread and made soup and stews most days to combat the weather. By the fifth night of a liquid supper, Steve requested something that didn’t require a spoon and bowl. I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. They were semi-squishy and didn’t require a lot of chewing or thought on my part.

After the first few weeks of school, I entrusted Junior with the job of walking home from the bus stop with Daisy. It was only half a block but I made it sound super important and raised his allowance a quarter a week. He was on board with that.

I still waited by the front window most afternoons to watch them walk home. Stevie was careful with his little sister and held an umbrella over her head and guided her around the deeper puddles. I saw her smile up at him with love as they approached the house as he put a protective arm around her when the raindrops fell harder.

Somehow that smile lifted my mood. I made steak and baked potatoes that night. Before bed, I pulled Junior aside and told him how proud of him I was that he was taking such good care of Daisy. He told me that it was easy because she was always so sunny. I agreed.

School Dazed

The summer days were coming to a close which always starts the busy season in motherhood. Both children would be in school this year requiring new everything. I was planning shopping trips for shoes, clothes, school bags, pencils and notebooks. Daisy wouldn’t fit into anything from last season and Stevie was an inch taller since the end of the last school year. If he hadn’t been wearing shorts all summer, I would have had to buy him longer pants before this.

It was the shoe shopping that brought out the love/hate in me. Shopping for my own shoes is a quick second to buying a new handbag in pleasure. Handbags were relatively small this year and I was still having trouble fitting my wallet in mine with everything else I wanted to carry. But shoes, my beloved shoes, kept me coming back for more.

The friendly, leathery smell hit me as I entered Jimmy’s store. The familiar smell of polish was noticeable as we walked farther into the shop. We looked around at the selection. Stevie was fine with lace-ups but Daisy needed a shoe that tied with a side strap. I steered Stevie to a dark pair of sturdy shoes. He plays hard and we could polish off the scuffs. That would actually be a good new duty for him to take over as long as he didn’t get polish everywhere. Maybe Steve would have a little lesson with him to start him on the right path. I sometimes polish Steve’s shoes if he doesn’t get to them, but I prefer to have him shine them since he has more experience. All that buffing takes its toll. Daisy had more style choices and there was a cute pair that we could add a heel protector to in order to make it last longer. I made a mental note to get some petroleum jelly to keep them shiny. Daisy wasn’t ready for shoe care yet so I could keep those in good shape for her. We sat down in the chairs with the measuring tools and the children removed their shoes.

Jimmy measured both of the children and went into the back to get their selections. He had Stevie stand so we could check on the room in the toe box with his new shoes on his feet. If it was too big, he would flop around in the shoes and if it was too close to his toes, we would be in there for new shoes next month. It was a delicate balance. I like to see if I can make it halfway through the school year before getting new school shoes. After Daisy tried on hers, both children picked out sneakers. Jimmy rang up our purchases and gave me a return ticket to pick up the school shoes with the heel protectors installed before school started.

I was proud of myself that I didn’t even check out the women’s shoes. I took the children for our treat to Meisel’s Pharmacy and we sat up at the counter for ice cream. I was training the kids correctly, at least in shoe shopping. It should always end with a treat.