I know I should lead off with what I love the absolute most! Foot comfort is of the essence and in cool weather or while sporting around, I must wear socks and not just any socks, but really good fun socks.
All of this sock fascination stems from my early childhood when I was learning to walk. Apparently, I refused to walk. Then one day my father came home and proudly exclaimed to my mother, "Today is the day that Bianca will walk!" She gave him an-are-you-crazy look and decided to humor him. "Oh yeah? And how do you suppose that will happen?" He pulled out a pair of knee-highed striped socks, just my size. He sat me down and explained to me that these were magic socks. If you've ever met my father, you know his level of enthusiasm, and even more so when he's telling a story. Anyway, he put my socks on my feet, stood me up, and said the following words like a magician says their magic words, "Now walk!" He let go of me, I stood there gaining my balance and apparently, I took my first steps. I went from walking to running in no time. Oh, and the best part of it was that those first few days, I stubbornly REFUSED to do any walking unless I was wearing my magic socks. Mari has about 20 pairs of socks and I'm still in search of the cutest, best, most comfortable pair for her!
How could a girl not have a love affair with a beautiful shoe? Two words: Christian Louboutin. I've been drooling over his shoes for well over a year now. Yet, I can't stomach spending $600 on a pair of shoes. Ok, who am I kidding. If I had a spare $600, I totally would!
Anyhow, I'd pushed my love(lust) affair of these shoes in the back of my mind until my mother, out of nowhere, mentioned them. She was watching her daily Oprah and Momma O herself mentioned them and my mother casually asked me if I heard of them. That's like offering a crackhead...well, crack. *sigh* I shrugged my shoulders and told her that I absolutely loved them and enjoyed a weekly stroll by Stanley Korshak just to peek in the shoe window and quietly wave at the beautiful shoes. It's an addiction really. One of those things that you dream about. Me, prancing around in a pair of black Pigalle pumps, baking some cookies, wearing my prettiest apron and my grandmother's pearls. How very June Cleaver indeed!
As for Mari, she has these lovely pair of magic shoes from Umi. So far when she's been in them, she zips around and LOVES these shoes. She doesn't kick them off. And why are they magic? Because she actually stands in them. Yes, she's 8 months old and standing on her very own! She does it with regularity when wearing these shoes too! Awww...she loves her little shoes.
Slide at the Fair
And then there is the slide at the fair. Oh my, I have some sublime memories of that quick gleeful ride. I remember trekking up to the top, helping my mother carry the burlap sack. We'd get to the top and I'd be tremendously afraid I'd tumble down. She'd sit down, and my poor little knees would knock together, afraid she'd take off before I could be adequately settled. Silly of course, because quite unlike me, Momma always had an incredible steady balance and a motherly abundance of safety. Yet, I knew what was coming! She'd wrap her left arm around me and push off with her right hand and we'd go zooming down the slide, faster, faster, FASTER...then slow down at the end. My eyes would get bigger and bigger, and I'd pretend my bottle cap glasses were actually goggles and I was flying through the air like Ameila Earhart. When the year came where I was big enough to ride by myself in my own lane, the races began. My Mom, my sister, and I would line up and we'd take off. I can remember only winning one time, but I didn't mind. I enjoyed taking longer to go down, just as long as I was still able to zip along. Fast forward many, many years later and my bestie and I have our annual slide race. Last year, I don't remember if we had our race. I know it was raining cats and dogs that evening. Even though I was 5 months pregnant, I remember I wanted to slide. Now that I think about it, I think I did go down the slide, it just took me quite a bit longer to climb up. Anyway, I sincerely hope that we get to go this year and I can take Mari for her very first ever slide ride.
I love Arts & Crafts. My grandmother took the time to teach me the importance of all things handmade. My mother would take the time to little crafts involving pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, felt, and clothespins. When I was of the age to be in Girl Scouts, we did all sorts of crafts and boy were those the days I looked forward to. I really did enjoy making a bird feeder out of a pine cone, peanut butter, and bird seed.
I've always had an absurd imagination, at times even delighting and suprising myself with what I came up with. I was recalling to Jenna how I'd come home from my grandmother's house one summer boasting of my mad embroidery skills to my mother. I was so very, very proud of my work and I begged to learn more. She enrolled me in a class at a public library, which was filled with 5 older women, the youngest one was 76 years old. I was 8! I loved listening to the ladies chatter away, focused on their projects. We were all holding our embroidery hoops close to our faces and it must've been quite a sight seeing me with glasses as big as theirs and my young hands trying to keep up with their old, yet nimble fingers. I was proud of the butterfly and flower scene I'd embroidered on my Kmart special handkerchief. I remember being reluctant to walk into that classroom because I didn't see any other kids there and my mom was going to leave me alone for an ENTIRE HOUR! I must've done something right, though, because she entered me into the Fair competition that year and I won a blue ribbon. Albeit, I was only one of two entries, but still. I remember we used to take a field trip to the fair and when we were passing through the arts and crafts section, I pointed out to my teacher that the little piece in the corner was mine. At first I don't think she believed me, but when she sauntered over there, she threw a passing glance and on a second take, she slowly and carefully read my name. I was so proud. Too bad I have no idea what happened to my ribbon or my masterpiece!
At a very early age, I discovered pencils and Big Chief tablets. I coveted every single page and hated wasting the back sides of paper. I'd draw and draw and write and write, even before I knew the alphabet, I'd write my made up stories, emulating the same stories my mother read to me from our bookshelf every night. When I was old enough to know what boredom really was, I'd go up to my mother and in dramatic fashion, throw myself on her arm lamenting, "I'm boooooooooooooooooored!" Not missing a beat with what she was doing, she'd pause, walk to the closet and pull out a notepad and a pencil. "Tenga, here, fill this up. After you are finished, let me know if you are still bored." "What? Are you serious? You want me to write? Fill up every sheet in this 80 page notebook? With what?" "I don't care," would be her answer, "write a story, I know you have many of them in that cabeza of yours!" Tapping me on the noggin. Off I would go to perch myself on the top bunk of our bunkbeds (my big sister had the lower bunk) writing away stories of playing with fairies, love mysteries, and creating drama between my Barbie and He-Man doll. She didn't know if she wanted to quit dating He-Man and go out with Skeletor. It wasn't nice for her to judge him just because of the way he looked!
Anyway, even though it was a pain for me at the time, I now I appreciate her efforts and promoting a healthy imagination and appreciation for the written word. Isn't it nice when words dance together to create a captivating story?