Marveling at my awesome parenting once again

Last Sunday, I noticed my middle child limping and hobbling on our way into church. Crabby, tired, and short on patience, I told him to knock it off.

Also? The Mother of the Year people just called. My award is on its way.

He looked up at me with sadness in his startlingly blue eyes and said, "I'm sorry, mom. My toes are just scrunched up in my shoes and they really hurt."

After giving myself 6,000 lashes with the belt made entirely out of guilt, I apologized and promised to get him some new shoes this week.

It really shouldn't have surprised me. The new Sunday pants I bought him at Easter? Like three inches too short now. I don't know what this kid is eating that is so different than the others. Nobody else is sprouting ankles out of their pants by the hour. An inch or two every year at best. But this one? He's grown about three inches in the last few months alone.

So yesterday we headed over to the mall. I started at Macy's, figuring I'd buy his forgiveness make up for the insensitive remark by treating him to a great pair of shoes from a respectable department store. I also wanted to hit the MAC counter for myself. The day was all about him. Making him feel special and loved.

Only, much to my dismay, I discovered that he has completely outgrown the children's sizes, and is now smack dab in the middle of the men's shoe sizes.

Sweet. fancy. moses.

Have you ever seen how expensive men's dress shoes are? Ain't no way I'm dropping $150 on a pair of shoes that, in all likelihood, will fit him for about eight minutes. I rarely spend that much money on my OWN shoes.

So I lied and told him I didn't think any of the shoes there looked good and steered him toward Famous Footwear. Where the shoes were only $90.

And then I steered him towards Sears, where the shoes were only $60.

By this time, I was running out of excuses as to why I felt the stores just didn't have his style. I think he believed me after the first store. But by store three, he was looking at me like I had totally lost it.

We ended up at *gasp* Payless, and I gladly forked over $40 for a pair of surprisingly decent-looking dress shoes. It still pained me slightly, knowing that he only wears them a few hours every week, but it was definitely better than the alternatives.

Here's hoping they fit him for more than a month.

Because, really, if anybody is going to be spending the Husband's hard-earned money on more shoes around here, it definitely ought to be me.