Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ruby-Red Slingbacks: There's No Place Like Home

It was amazing that they pulled it off.

With more secrecy and less incident than the "Goodfellas" Lufthansa heist.

My husband took our three sons out shopping for a Mother's Day present.

Three eager brothers--armed with sagging Ziploc baggies filled with coins and the crinkled dollar bills extracted from their piggy banks--begged daddy to drive them to the mall.

Be still my beating heart.

Carting my three rugged and spirited boys to a mall was a feat in itself--especially when it ranks as one of the worst places they'd like to be.

My eldest once said that he'd rather eat dirt than be caught dead in Nordstrom.
And I'm fairly certain my youngest actually did eat it.

I've had my own misadventures with them at the mall--particularly one rainy August afternoon.

Within an hour, there was an undressed mannequin, the need for eye wash at Bath and Body Works, and an eviction from Old Navy.  OLD NAVY.

Who the hell gets kicked out of Old Navy?

My sons, that's who. For inciting a full-tackle football game after grabbing a ball from the sale bin. Every meticulously-folded graphic tee seemed to unfold itself at once.  One son pinned between stacks of nineteen-dollar skinny jeans. A store manager beaned by a Hail-Mary bomb.

Perhaps it was mob mentality or pent-up energy. Most times my sons can conduct themselves civilly in public--even church--without major catastrophe. But shopping is whole different rodeo.

What a shock it was when I found out my husband agreed to take them anyway.

The looks on their anticipatory faces when they handed me that dilapidated box is forever etched in my mind. With wide eyes--and depleted piggy bank accounts--they waited for me to lift the smashed lid.

"We picked these out just for you, mom.  We know red is your favorite color."

Beneath that lid was a pair of ruby-red sling-backs, bought solely with money they had saved themselves.

I envisioned them at the store, debating what they thought I would like within their crinkled-bill budget.
That harmonious moment among siblings amidst the chaos that all mothers hope and live for.
Nothing swells a heart more than your children's expressions of love.

Those ruby-red sling-backs would become my all-time favorite pair.

Every Mother's Day, I take them out of my closet and wear them as a reminder about what matters most.

There's simply no place like home.

Happy Mother's Day.