The Light Up Shoes

Those of you who know me could probably guess how I feel about light-up shoes, if I haven't already told you.  Those of you who know me know how I feel about electronic, battery-operated, commercialized plastic toys, so you could just assume you know how I feel about light-up shoes.  Cameron certainly knows how I feel about light-up shoes.

For the past three years, since Cameron was able to verbalize his wants, he has wanted light-up shoes.  Since starting pre-school in September 2008 he realized "all" his friends had light-up shoes.  His want has never been very noticeable to anyone except Cameron, his Daddy and I.  At pre-school, when a child forgets his or her shoes, they have classroom shoes to borrow.  There is a pair of Spiderman light-up shoes in the closet.  Cameron wore them once and was smitten.  He asked me the next school day if I could forget his shoes again.  He's so clever.  He has grown up with parents who do not give in to every whim and fancy, so he knows when we say "no" it means "no".  We did let him "forget" his shoes two more times since then.

Whenever it is time to buy new shoes, Cameron asks, "Can I get light-up shoes?"  I have always said, "I don't like light-up shoes, honey."  He never questions me and never gets upset.  A few weeks ago we realized Cameron and Olivia both needed new shoes.  We were strolling down the boys aisle and Cameron picked up a pair of shoes and they instantly lit up.  He looked at me with these puppy dog eyes and said, "Oh, these light up.  I can't get them."  His voice was so solemn, and he put them back on the shelf.

Then, the stars and planets all must have aligned, because out of nowhere I heard my voice say, "You know what?  You can get light-up shoes!"  Cameron looked up at me in disbelief and said, "Really?" and then a tear rolled down his cheek.  He was so happy he cried.  And that's when I felt like the worst and best mom all at the same time.  I felt so badly that I had deprived my son of the simple pleasure of a light-up shoe.  But I felt great knowing how happy I had just made him, and knowing that he would not have been that happy if I had been one of those moms who gave in to every whim and fancy.

He LOVES his light-up shoes.  That first night he took them to bed with him.  He awoke the next morning at 5 a.m. and asked if he could get dressed and go downstairs.  Yikes!  Daddy was up, and he took him outside in the dark to see his awesome shoes in action.  In that moment I knew that he was the happiest boy in the world!


  1. I almost cried when I read this (I know, I am a sap!) This happens more frequently then I'd like to admit in our house. I was volunteering at my 9 year olds chorus recital at the (NOT-at-all-healthy) snack table when all of my daughters friends came up to get chips and soda. She looked sheepishly at the table and murmured that she wasn't allowed that stuff. I watched the other girls eyeing her and thought for a split second... 'She feels like a complete outcast right now in front of dozens of girls and I can solve that with 2 ounces of Cheetos and a bottle of soda...' So I gave in and she literally skipped away with her friends. It ate me up inside to see her carry away that plastic bottle of soda, but she was a happy nine year old little girl who escaped a ton of questions and most likely ridicule.

  2. Ah yes...sometimes us Mamas need to bend our own rules...my children got parting gifts from their father that I never thought I'd allow--a buzz lightyear action figure and a Princess Tiana doll...but seeing how happy they made the kids.....it was worth bending a little bit....Mia's face when she saw her "dream" and the fact that Benj never goes to sleep with out "his guy" have made my previous rigidity seem a little contrived. I'm struggling right now with all this.....ahhh, motherhood....

    PS-I saw Cam's shoes at school, he was very proud!

  3. Before I had kids I swore that I would never let them wear character tshirts. I think Cole owns (and proudly wears) 3! :)

    Funny how those things just don't seem that important anymore!

  4. That is what makes you all awesome moms. You have a defined set of rules that you adhere to, yet you know exactly when to bend the rules so as to make it that much more special for your children. I applaud you for this.

  5. It's good to bend on the little issues in life...they're not important so save your energy for the biggies that are sure to come.


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