She Wore Red Heels

January 7, 2012
She wobbled awkwardly as she made her way from her parents bedroom to her own room. It was her first time walking around in anything other than Crocs and it didn't look like she could keep her balance for very long. Her Mom stood off to the side, smiling behind her hands and making sure nothing sharp or pointy stood in the path of the wobbly girl. Her Dad stood a little in front of the girl, holding a camera to his eye and scooting further and further back as his little girl came towards him. He had to bend over and squat so he could get all of her tiny little self in the frame , but he barely noticed. If a stranger had walked in at that moment they would feel out of place for only a second. Because the air had shifted, this wasn't an ordinary day or a day that was an “important milestone”. This was a day that had brought genuine spontaneity, this was a memory, in the purest, coolest sense of the word.

And it was a memory that kept, because twenty years later she'd gathered around the T.V. with her family on one of those special nights when family rallied together, making sure to keep in touch and stay connected. She'd sat crossed legged in front of the couch with her younger brother on the sofa behind her and her mom and dad sitting on the left of her and her aunts and uncles milling together all around the derelict couch. She sat surrounded by something that felt warmer and more comforting than sleeping in her own bed. And she watched herself, at three years old; stumbling in a pair of red heels toward her father. The little beads in her hair bounced as she walked, and the corners of her eyes were crinkled with laughter.

The laughter was infectious, it moved from the past and into the present making eyes crinkle at the corners and big guffaws come rolling out of mouths. The laughter filled the room, made the world seem lighter than usual.

“You still got them heels Stacy?” Her uncle asked, with a mischievous grin.

“You bet I do, they make me look years younger.” And they did too, especially when she was laughing.

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