My daughter will never fill my shoes. She’s a size smaller after all. But she asked to borrow a pair anyway because of a last-minute decision to wear flats on the first day of her internship where she anticipated a lot of walking. Even though she owns piles of high heels, fashion boots, and athletic shoes, there’s not a dress flat in the bunch. Momma to the rescue.  

The older I get, the more practical than trendy my wardrobe seems to be. Lucky for her, I had a smidgen of style when I purchased the pointy-toed black flats on clearance at Target. I’ve worn them just often enough to add my signature touch: scuffed heels.  

Desperate for flats to match her black pencil skirt and white silk blouse, she could deal with my wear and tear. After polishing the heels with a Sharpie and cramming cotton balls into the toes, away she went. Her resourcefulness makes me proud. I also feel a bit smug knowing my soles are carrying her along the first steps of her grown-up job journey.  

It’s such a simple act, sharing shoes. It’s happened plenty of times on her visits home from college when she forgot her running shoes, so she nabbed my seldom worn pair, doubling up on socks before jogging around the neighborhood. She’s slipped her pedicured toes into my sandals to go out during warm visits and pulled on my snow boots to avoid slipping as she shoveled our walks over winter breaks.  

She’s returned to the nest this time to save money while interning with a local company.  Before she takes flight again, I’m granted a front row seat to her life for the mere cost of higher heating and water bills, more coffee beans, and Kleenex.  

I can’t help but get teary-eyed picturing her as the little blonde headed girl who used to smear on my lipstick, drape on big beaded necklaces, and toddle around in my high heels. She’d hang one of my purses over her shoulder and announce she was on her way to the office or to a ball, then head to the swing set with our Shetland sheepdog at her side.  I suppose wearing my accessories in her world of make-believe must have made her feel taller, smarter, and prettier somehow. 

These days, dress-up for her is real. My flats don’t add anything to her height, though she is wiser realizing they’ll be more comfortable than high heels. Wearing them also can’t enhance her beauty, but it does beautify my day knowing she has them on.  

And while she’ll never fill my shoes, she fills my heart to overflowing.