Someone suggested I write a children’s story called Yellow Boots of Courage because my daughter loves this pair of yellow rain boots. She wears them rain or shine, going to school, the park, or just for a walk around the neighborhood. I’ve posted many pictures of her wearing them and in one I mentioned how afraid she used to be of the slide. But now she loves it and spends most of her time climbing up the jungle gym and giggling back down the slide.
A little over a week ago, my baby turned four. I am the type of parent that uses many clichés about how fast my child is growing. Every year I cannot believe how time flies and how big my sweet child is getting. I beg the gods to slow down the clock and stretch the years. I want as many days with her as possible so please, let her be little! But this year I’m feeling it even more. I think it’s because my favorite number is ‘4’ so it’s automatically special. I wanted to write a little story about her and her favorite boots, and eventually I will.
I guess this could be considered a nonfiction story of the same nature. This four year old warrior of the playground, climbing new heights every day, and finding the courage to try new things. She says things like, “When I get bigger, I’m going to have a wedding, right?” And I smile and say yes, if that’s what you want. But inside I’m screaming, stop thinking about weddings! Don’t talk about getting bigger just yet, you’re my little girl!
No matter what she’s wearing, she’ll slip on those yellow rain boots. When I ask if she’s sure she wants to wear them, she confidently says yes and grows a little taller. I guess she never knows when she might see a puddle to jump in. There has never been a puddle too wide or too deep to keep her and those boots away.
She wore them when we went to meet Santa Claus in her new Christmas outfit. I wanted her to wear her nicer, pale pink pair but she slipped on her rubber yellow boots before I could say no. When people compliment her on them, she gives a little smirk and says thank you. Her big hazel eyes get bigger and she bites her little lip before a smile and a giggle come through. She is cloaked in more than confidence because she shines from deep within with growing fearlessness.
Sometimes she looks to me before answering a question, even though I know she knows the answer. I can see it in her eyes; here mom, I’ll let you take the lead for now. It won’t be long before she forgets to look to me. It could be her age or preschool or boots or my own projection of wanting her to be confident. No matter what it is, it’s there. Every day she grows in every way a tiny person does. And every day I’m reminded she’s going to continue this way until she’s confident enough to leave and be the person she’ll be, “When she gets bigger.”
She’s my little sidekick, the best mommy’s helper, a big-hearted big sister. She tells me about her dreams about being a superhero, defeating fire robots and battling beside the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
When people asked her how old she was before her birthday, her response was always three and a half. Even the day before her fourth birthday, she insisted she was three and a half. Now with confidence she holds up those four fingers high.
She will move mountains and color them with shades of fearlessness while wearing yellow boots of courage.