My mom was a very careful and worried woman, as I was growing up. There were so many many rules, all in an attempt to keep me safe and away from harm. She constantly worried for me and controlled everything I did.
I was not allowed to go out and play with other children in the neighborhood. No biking down the street, no hopscotch, no skipping down the sidewalk and certainly no hide and seek. She was afraid that I world either get run over by a passing car or be abducted by someone off the street. So, instead of coming out and making sure I was safe while playing, she just banned playing. I also wasn’t allowed to have or go to slumber parties. Later on in life, she sang her own praises about what a careful and diligent mother she was for not allowing me to stay overnight at anyone’s house. I wasn’t allowed to go over to many friends’ houses to have play dates, either. She imagined all storts of evils lurking around every corner.
What I wore was also scrutinized very closely. I wasn’t allowed to pierce my ears until I turned 18. And, as a kid, I was banned from wearing clogs (she worried that I twist and break my ankle) and jelly sandals. There were many other rules, which followed me into adulthood, since I lived at home until going off to law school at 26.
Not surprisingly, I’ve spent most of my life rebelling against all these limitations I grew up with. I won’t bore you with all the different ways I challenged her and rebelled against her and her rules. I’ll just say that I’ve not only got five holes in my ears, I also have proudly piecrced belly button. And, to this day, sleeping over a friend’s house gives me such indescribable excitement and pleasure that it’s almost comedic.
When I was 21, I bought my first pair of clogs, over my mom’s objections. Apparently, clogs were supposed to stay forever forbidden footwear for me. Or so my mom thought. I remember that the shoe box came with a pre-paid postcard for comments and feedback to the company. I wrote them to tell them how much I loved my new high heeled clogs and how I had lived such deprived childhood. That raised a maternal eye brow, but what did I care. I was wearing clogs!!
But I never got to wear jelly sandals. I just felt I was too old to wear them, while secretly admiring them every time they came back in style for adults. And my inner child always envied little girls with their beautiful, glittery jelly shoes. I just went on envying until now. While I’m no longer 21, or even 31, I still love jelly sandals and have yet to get over a girlhood without them.
So, I finally bought a pair yesterday! I was running errands and meeting with a girlfriend for a quick lunch and window shopping date at the mall and I ran into these gorgeous hot pink and orange jelly sandals. And the little girl inside me yelled: “MINE!” And, just like that, I recovered another piece of my childhood.
It’s never too late to find a piece of oneself. Happiness achieved. Aren’t they beautiful?