Of course, if I had received any advance warning of the impossibility of the arduous undertaking I would soon find myself regretfully immersed in, I would have rapidly abandoned all illusion of parental compassion and concern. I would have just told the teenager that I really didn’t care if her old basketball shoes gave her blisters. I would have turned a blind eye to those slippery soles that caused her to fall down on the hardwood and come home bruised and battered.
But I didn’t have any advanced warning.
So when the teenager announced that she needed new basketball shoes I eagerly agreed to help her shop for them. I was, of course, naive and oblivious, singing along to the radio, when I drove those back roads to the mall that one Saturday morning. I had initially wanted to travel south to the super large sports store. But the teenager pointed out that if that single super large sports store did not have what she was specifically looking for, we were somewhat far away from any other basketball shoe store. So instead, we headed north to the insanity of the big mall and the many accompanying strip malls within close proximity. With this option, we would have 12 stores to choose from.
The teenager found basketball shoes that she liked at the very first store we went to. She did not however, find them in the correct color or the correct size.
We spent the next 4 1/2 hours travelling to the other 11 stores in the area. We looked at many, many different kinds of shoes but didn’t try on a single pair. As a last resort, I convinced the teenager to go back to the first store and again, try on the pair that she had initially liked. I tried to convince her that ½ a size too big wasn’t really THAT big. I tried to convince her that the color didn’t matter one bit. I tried to convince her to, please, put me out of my shopping misery and just pick any darn pair of shoes in that store as soon as she possibly could.
This unsuccessful shoe shopping was making me very cranky.
I was not, apparently, the only ill-natured mother in the store that day.
I heard another mother raise her voice and I turned my head to see a teenage girl shaking her head. I heard her mother bark, “What do you mean ‘white basketball shoes are stupid’? That’s ridiculous. When I was a kid I was grateful to even have a pair of shoes, let alone special basketball shoes. I wouldn’t have dared tell my mother they were the wrong color!”
It wasn’t long before another mother/daughter pair joined in on the shoe shopping discontent. This time it was the daughter who provided the lecture. “Yes. Mother. They are too small. They really, really are. Besides, I wanted the Nike and these are Adidas. Nobody on my team wears Adidas. I’ll look like an idiot if I’m the only one with Adidas shoes.”
As we three mothers began to commiserate with each other, the three daughters huffed a lot, rolled their eyeballs and asked each other what high school they played for. One mother finally announced, with great frustration, that she and her daughter were going to have to brave the mall stores. She was a fair bit testy and patently annoyed when the other mother and I said that our shoe shopping experiences at the mall had produced nothing other than lunch at the Panda Express.
The teenager and I left that store empty handed. As we drove away, the teenager grumbled a request to go to the super large sports store. After a long day of shoe searching, I most definitely did did not want to travel south to that super large sports store. But the teenager pointed out that if anyone would have the shoes she wanted, it would be the super large sports store, of course. And so, like all obedient sports mothers who have come before me, I drove south. I drove another half hour to the very store we had considered starting with many, many hours earlier that day.
The teenager and I arrived at the super large sports store at 3:32 pm. The teenager walked over to the basketball shoe section. She found the shoes she liked. She found the right size. She found the right color. She tried them on. We paid for them. At 3:49 pm we drove out of the parking lot and headed home.
It was that easy.
Check This Out!
The husband and I have been doing a little remodeling. In an effort to get a few ideas for our home projects, I’ve been enjoying the book, The Not So Big House.
From author’s website comes this description,“The Not So Big House books by Sarah Susanka bring to light a new way of thinking about what makes a place feel like home—characteristics that many people desire of their homes and their lives, but haven't known how to verbalize."
Full of great ideas for all areas of your home, the initial book The Not So Big House and the many other similar ones that follow it do not focus merely on square footage and the standard builder options all too common in today’s modern houses. Ms. Susanka's books offer creative examples that make a real design impact that is personal, meaningful and most likely, just what you wanted for your home.
Explore more at www.notsobighouse.com and www.susanka.com.
I am one of those sports mothers that you speak of. I drove 2 1/2 hours once to Salt Lake because he had to have a certain kind of football cleats "the next day!!!!"
Yeah, he made the team. It was a great year. He made all league! It was worth every single minute I got to spend with him on that long drive. We actually talked. He's in college now and I would give anything to have that time back again.
I'd recommend on-line shopping for shoes. Choose brand, color, and size in minutes! I loved my green with white pleather Converse hi-tops that I could only get through a catalog (back in the old days ya' know...) because color and brand did matter - so did size - ouch!
You make all of us obedient sports mothers proud!
you're very good to your daughter... and the not so big house is a personal favorite. i gave it to myself for christmas two years ago.
Oh my gosh! You speak the mind of all the sports moms out there. In reference to Spring Meadows' comment, I would bet that the teenager HAD to have the shoes by the next day. At least, that has been my experience. Besides, with sports shoes, you definitely want them to fit. Hard to guarantee that ordering online, as convenient as it can be.
Anyway, this southern football mom from 'bama loved this one. Keep it up.
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