There will come a day, probably sooner than I'd like, when I will remind Ittybit of the love she once had for hand-me-downs.
Whenever we receive a bag of new-to-her things, it musters the same excitement as Christmas morning. She combs through the piles, sniffing the duds and commenting about the scent of another family's detergent. "Oh ... It even smells like her," she’ll swoon with a soft sweater pressed next to her face.
Having togs worn previously by some of our friends’ daughters - girls she would have loved to have as big sisters – is, to her, akin to wearing the sweat-stained, cast-away t-shirt of a rock star.
Major. Rock Star.
Sometimes I can’t believe she allows me to wash them.
The only problem comes when an item meets the end of its useful life before she's ready to let it go.
She slipped her foot in the pretty pink boots, and she spoke in warm tones about the cozy faux fur. They were the perfect size for her to slip her already-ballet-slippered feet into so she could be the first one ready for dance class. I noticed the broken bit on the boot's toe as she was shuffle-ball-changing around the dance studio in taps.
For some reason the evil spirit that is alive and well in the promise of shopping forced me to mention her need for new boots aloud.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You. Have. To. Fix. It. You. Have. To. Fix. It.”
“ThesearethebestbootsI'veeverhad. These were Anna's Boots! You. Have. To. Fix. It.”
I frown and look back down at the boots.
She doesn't understand that we don't live in an age where cobblers or tinkers hang out shingles.
Things aren't made to last. They're made to be replaced ... usually long before the ink on their warrantee has dried. We generally don't even bother to force manufacturers to abide by their promises because replacement items are so cheap it's not worth the effort or the return shipping fees.
She doesn’t care. She wants THOSE boots and not NEW boots, not even if they looked like THOSE boots.
Snow is coming and we are at an impasse.
"Maybe we can put a patch in there ..." my mother suggests.
"Maybe we can coat it in some kind of adhesive ..." my husband ponders.
"Yes! YES! A patch. A hesive. Anything so that I can still wear my boots," trumpets my daughter.
I leave it for tomorrow. It's late and I still have hope I can get to the store before snow hits the ground. Perhaps she'll see the beauty in a brand new pair if I can find a similar style or something with razzmatazz, as my dad would say.
But in the morning there is snow on the ground and her boots are still waiting for the elves of yesteryear to mend them.
My husband plugs in the hot melt glue gun and gets to work.
"Oh ... thank-you-thank-you-thank-you," she gushes as he helps her on with the boots.
"The fix is not going to last," he warns her. "You will have to get new boots before long."
"Are you trying to break my heart?" she asks playfully.
"No. But you are going to break mine," he replies, and then tousles her hair as she runs for the bus.
"Good thing we have hot glue, dad. We can always fix it."