I swore I would never buy light-up shoes. When these first came out in 1992 I was only eleven years old and already had enough fashion sense to know that these were utterly ridiculous. I put them in the same category as the shoes with imbedded inline skates (Heelys), which came out about eight years later. Suddenly kids were either stomping their feet or leaning back to glide on wheels as they walked around shopping malls and grocery stores. Before children, I rolled my eyes at these inventions.
My son has a habit of dragging the toes of his shoes to brake on his balance bike, which means that any pair of shoes we buy him from April to November lasts for only a few weeks. If he had a fashion style, it would be hobo chic. So knowing his shoes won’t last long, I rarely spend too much money on each pair. The upside is that we get to try out many different styles.
At the age of four, my son is starting to have opinions about what clothing he wants to wear and it is a little harder for me to pick out things that I like without running it by him. He recently informed me that he wanted light-up shoes and I groaned as he pointed them out to me. Eager to get him into any shoes that actually had intact soles, I conceded. Then, as I watched him dance around in his new shoes and tell me fantastical stories about the lighting shooting from his shoes, I realized how much fun it was to watch him assert his own sense of style. Although I’ll miss the days when I could buy anything in his size and dress him up, I’m enjoying seeing him express himself in fashion. And if anything describes his four-year-old self, it’s lightning shooting from the soles of his feet.