Lil E is used to these comments. He makes them, too.
"Oh, Mommy, those shoes look so nice with that cape-thingy you're wearing," he's said, waving a headless Lego guy at my cardigan and Mary Janes.
"Oh, Mommy, you should maybe wear those purple clicky boots again because you love purple so much that it's your second favorite color!"
"One second, Mommy. I need to go tell that lady in the store she has nice shoes on today."
So it goes. Until the hormones and video games cloud his cognizance of anything or anyone else around him, he listens when I go on about how my arches ache from wearing my new favorite heels or I squeal to put on a sundress when the first warm weather peeks out. He listens like I do when he details the scenes of the one Star Wars with Jar Jar Binks. We give those moments to each other, scot-free.
"I love those shoes!" I said tonight, pointing to the page of the Lucky magazine sprawled out next to the tub, pages wrinkled from bubbly bath water. "But they are ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. Can you believe that?"
He stopped flossing his teeth and looked down at the page.
"What number of money?" He wasn't astonished just yet. He was asking for clarification, and I was thinking about how he didn't say "monies" like he used to say.
"They cost $1,050," I told him matter-of-factly.
"They'rrrrrrre prettttyyyyy," he drew out long and with judgment. Here it came: "Buuuuuut, welllll...I could see maybe $50, maybe $100..."
He paused, leaning over the page, then abruptly stood up, tossed his floss in the trash and walked quickly to his room. More moments of silence.
"Yeah." He was sure now. "$100 or $50, maybe even $40 or maybe $90. But NOT $1,050."
"I agree." It's all I said. He had more.
"I mean, what if you are like, a teenager, say. And you have a job and get money. And what if you like, have a car accident and have to get your car fixed. And then you, like, need something really badly. And then, like, you have give your parents money, and other stuff. And you buy these shoes. RIGHT? Then you are left with LIKE NO MONEY. That is not good."
He seemed a little irritated to even consider this child-worker, heel-hording dramatic scenario.
"But if you'd only spent $50 on them, you'd have a thousand dollars to put toward those other important costs..." I floated it. These are the times I pretend I am Suze Orman-ing this whole parenting thing.
"YEAH! You might even have some left."
He returned to his room, pulling pillows and stuffed animals from his bed to make room for his little Return of the Jedi jammie-clad body. He was thinking while he was working; the determination was all over him.
"It is NOT a good idea to buy shoes for $1,050. Even if they are cute or pink. No way."
I smiled and agreed and assured him I never would.
Scootching in beside him with book in hand, I promised. "Even if one day I make millions of dollars, if I'm ever in a situation where I want to buy thousand-dollar shoes, I will think of your teacher and how many books she could buy for your class with that money. Maybe a hundred books? Or 200 even? Isn't that a better use of that much money."
"Yeah," he smiled. "Or you could buy those books for me."
So it's a deal. Stretched out there, in my UGGhs with my barefooted boy spooned into me, reading an encyclopedia of disgusting body stuff, I thought, "Lil E and I, we really have this whole designer shoe thing totally figured out."
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