Clara has new shoes. They are brown with colored stripes, and she can put them on by herself. She is very proud of her shoes. Some of you may have noticed yesterday, the first day of wearing her new shoes, that she insisted on leaving the tags on them when she went to church. This was so people would know, without question, that they were new. As a father, I felt like this was silly, and I almost forced her to cut he tags off before leaving the house. But I gave in. And then I was worried after we arrived and she received so many comments about the awkward dangling tags that she was embarrassed for having decided to leave them on. but it turns out that this exhibition of shoes was a glowing success for Clara and she talked about it for the whole ride home.

In fact, it wasn’t until the ride home that I actually was able to realize what Clara was so proud of. I had assumed she was excited about her shoes because they were her new shoes and she maybe thought they were pretty. But it was actually the tags themselves she was proud of. As it turns out, it is actually a big deal to have a pair of NEW shoes. Shoes with tags on them. Since all of the other shoes she has ever had, as far as she has seen, were purchased at thrift stores. And although those other shoes were “new”, they never had tags on them. So, they were not actually new.

I have been thinking about this a lot today. Thank you to everyone that took the time yesterday to comment on her shoes, even though she looked like a bad shoplifter.