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Flip flops with pumpkins

Here in San Antonio we can get away with flip flops in fall, and just about any time of year except for a few weeks when it actually resembles winter. So that’s what I found myself wearing while I was out running errands like a crazy mama yesterday afternoon.

One of those errands was a self-imposed hunt for ruby slippers for my Dorothy-costumed daughter to wear for a Halloween event that evening. I didn’t think it would be too much of a challenge, and I was totally ready to go the glitter and Mod Podge route to make our own, but oh, no, you can’t DIY your way through everything.

Somewhere along the way Eleanor was introduced to wearing flip flops (I think it was Grandma who bought her first pair) and she’s been pretty much living in them ever since. Getting her to put on a pair of closed-toed shoes is like giving a cat a bath (which I did for the first time this week–and it was probably easier, despite the scratches). Now in Eleanor’s defense, I can totally relate to the love of free-breathing toes. But I had it stuck in my mind that every little girl needs to have red shoes to dress like Dorothy. So I peeked through a couple thrift stores, and even popped into a certain blue-colored superstore and found not one, but two pairs of shoes for tryouts at home. Throw in a trip to my favorite produce store for a great deal on pumpkins (my kids would think I’m supermom if I brought home six jack-o-lantern pumpkins, right?), and I was good to go.

By the time I made it home (where my wonderful husband was watching the kids and working on our kitchen), I had three hours to finish up costume details, make our traditional Friday night pizza, and get us all out the door for the Halloween festivities. I had to get the shoes figured out fast.

I took Eleanor back to my room so we could have a quiet space to discuss the shoe situation (I knew it was going to take some convincing). I was excited to have found some adorable red glittery ones that would be perfect for her costume–but they were a little more expensive and had a slight heel which she’d never worn before. So I tried the DIY route first with a pair of black flats (I had some red glitter waiting on the sidelines). But she kicked those off like something had bit her toe. I did an inner fistpump as I pulled the glittery heels out of my closet while she closed her eyes. These were going to work perfectly. I held my breath as she smiled for a second and got up to stand in them. I thought about the oohs and ahhs she’d get in her pretty red shoes.

Then she wobbled and gave them the thumbs-down. She was a sport and tried on the flats again. I even called Chris to pick up a size bigger while he was out getting more supplies for the kitchen (which he amazingly agreed to). But ultimately she was okay without the red shoes. She went back to playing quietly and I went back to frantically making pizza. Of course a part of me wanted to be frustrated, but I finally realized that I was the one who had insisted on hunting for them in the first place.

She was happy with the secondhand costume we found and whatever shoes she had at home. And I should have been happy with that, too! I fall easily into my hunter-gatherer mode when it comes to finding just the right things for the kids. So much so that it can also be easy to forget that we already have most of what we need–and much of that is in each other.

So we finished up dinner and all the costume gathering, and we went out to enjoy the evening. Eleanor and I both wore our flip flops of course. Dorothy’s slippers weren’t red in the original book anyway.

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