Their happy yellow faces caught my eye that day in Target. The rainy season was about to start and J needed some good boots. Why not yellow giraffe boots? He would have put them on right there in the middle of the store if I had let him, but I held him off until we got home.
We laughed at him as he gave those boots a spin around the kitchen the very first time. He looked like the Tin Man in need of some oil. By the end of the day though, he was speeding around the house in them, with a wild grin on his little face.
He even wore them to church a time or two. I can still see him in my mind’s eye. Trailing 3 steps behind me as we walk down the center aisle at church. He’s all spiffed up in his Sunday best, save for the tattered giraffe boots peeking out from under his khaki slacks. People smiled and pointed as we found our seat in the second row, he was pleased as punch.
The temperatures soared into the 100′s but the sandals and flip-flops were always passed over for the boots. He wore them with shorts, he wore them with nothing but his undies on running through the house like a wild banshee.
And then the sad day finally came. When try as he might, his feet just wouldn’t squeeze into them anymore.
The bright colors had faded, the ears and tails had long fallen off. A rip in the side let the water come in when he splashed in puddles. There was only one thing left to do. They had been too loved to pass on, so they took their rightful place of honor, in the small tub marked “J’s Baby Clothes”. They rest there with all the other precious items that mark J’s earliest days.
Someday when I am old I will pull them out and marvel that his feet were ever that small. And I will remember the days when life was all about, toy cars, red wagons, picture books, bath times,…
… and yellow giraffe boots.