'Maybe' by Sal Page


You were ten and half pounds when you were born. People kept calling you ‘bouncing’ and ‘bonny’. I told Auntie May on the phone so she knew you were a big baby but by the time her christening present arrived I could see they wouldn’t fit.
Lovely baby shoes. Neatly stitched in soft red and green leather. I remember Rosie and Izzy taking a shoe each out of the box. They turned them round in their hands. The leather gleamed. They decided the tiny stitches and intricate embroidery had been done by elves. This made them both giggle. You joined in from your cot as they dangled the magic elf-made shoes above your head. Maybe that was your first laugh.
Rosie and Izzy did try to get them on your feet. You just kicked the air and chuckled at them. Even when they tried putting socks on you they had the same trouble. Good job you had a Mum and two helpful sisters or you’d never have worn socks or shoes for more than a few seconds. Or hats. What you liked best was being on the rug, in your birthday suit. I know, I know. Don’t look at me like that.
The shoes were put back in their box. We could get good money for those, your Dad said. We advertised them for sale. Your sisters made a poster to go up in the shop. I said put ‘Brand New’ but the girls thought ‘Never Worn’ sounded better.
            We sold them to someone further up the hill, a Mrs. What-was-her-name? No, of course I don’t expect you to know. The girls would remember. We’ll ask them later.
I know you’ve heard all this before, love, but I think of those shoes every time I come round here and trip over your size fourteen boots in the hallway.

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