The sunlight beamed its way across the classroom, spotlighting the objects of my 5th-grade desire. There, gleaming on the shelf, stood Krista Tibbets’* clogs, just waiting until our return from P.E. when Krista herself would slide off her mundane Ked’s and magically grow three inches as she placed the coveted shoes on her feet. I wanted to be Krista Tibbets. Krista Tibbets of the perfect Farah Fawcett wings and the wooden-heeled clogs. And, if my naturally curly hair refused to cooperate, insisting on sticking out at odd angles around my head, at least I could have the clogs.
Except my mother thought otherwise. She insisted that an eleven-year-old had no business wearing high heels, especially to school. Instead, she attempted to feed my ongoing clog obsession by allowing me a pair with measly one-inch heels. It didn’t work. Though I wore them, clomping about the classroom, the playground, and the lunchroom, I continued to rue my lack of those perfect, clearly grown-up clogs. Just as I secretly hoped that. one day, my hair would suddenly cooperate, sliding into smooth flowing AquaNet-plastered waves while my thick glasses simultaneously melted away.
I remember that wish just as clearly as if I’d made it yesterday. And, while much of it actually came true–thanks to contacts and a change in hair fashions–I’m amazed at what strong emotions still come through when I think about the 5th grade. The angst, the awkwardness, the Love-Its jeans with decorative back pockets.
And, you know, I never did get those clogs. But what I did get is a youngest child who’ll officially be a 5th grader in just a few days. It’s incomprehensible how fast we’ve come full-circle. And now my wish, a wish even stronger than my desire for those seemingly magical shoes, is for Soccer Boy know that it’s not must-have items that make the man, for him to move from childhood into adolescence loving himself just as much as I love him.
Because that’s something that never goes out of style.
*name has been changed