Didn’t quite realise how attached my sentimental 4 year old son had grown to the plimsolls that we bought him just before he started at preschool in September.
They were a pair of £2.50 Marks & Spencers jobbies, reduced in the sale to £1.75. ‘Bargain’, I thought! ‘They will do for the summer and then we can get him a pair of winter proof ones’.
Well, they barely lasted the summer before they were full of holes and the soles were flapping around helplessly.
“We’ll have to get you a new pair!” I told him.
“Noooooooooooo!” he wailed, scowling at me and clinging on to his plimsolls for dear life.
For a few weeks I allowed him to wear them to preschool. The carers there must have thought I was a really cruel mum for making him wear these worn down, dishevelled and dilapidated shoes. I had visions of him being bullied for not having fancy shoes like the rest of the kids there, but he was happy as Larry, and insisted on wearing them, so who was I to argue??
And then the wind came. With the rain. Quickly followed by frost.
“Sorry hunny, but now the winter is coming, you need some shoes without holes to keep the cold out,” I explained.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because otherwise the cold and wet will creep in the holes and make your toes turn to ice.”
“I’ll just wear extra socks,” he said smugly.
“The plimsolls have got to go!” I replied firmly and marched him down to the shoe shop to find a new pair.
We tried on smart trainers, shiny shoes and even flashing shoes.
“But I just want to wear my plimsolls,” he said sadly.
Arrgh, this wasn’t going to be easy by any means! How could I prize my son away from his beloved plimsolls?
Whilst he was distracted, I bought a pair of flashing new shoes, hid them in my bag and puzzled over how on Earth I could persuade him to wear them…
Later that night I sat down with him quietly, and thought that maybe I could sweetly tell him that the plimsolls were going up into the sky to be stars, like all the other old pairs of plimsolls. He looked at me like I had 3 heads and said, “Mummy, plimsolls dont go up into the sky when they’re old, they go in the bin! And I don’t want my plimsolls to go in the bin. I love them.”
He looked up at me with those huge brown puppy dog eyes. Ooooooh, my heart strings were being pulled to breaking point!
I then glanced over at the little fairy house we had made together, and a thought popped into my head.
“Perhaps the fairy’s will come and take them for you…” I whispered.
“And fix them?” he asked.
“Oh yes,” I said excitedly,”And bring them back to you next Summer looking all brand new!”
He smiled, but then his smile fell, “But what am I going to wear to school tomorrow, mummy? Will they bring me some new shoes when they take my plimsolls.”
“I’m sure they will. A flashy new pair of shoes!” We hugged a big hug, and I felt a huge sense of relief. That wasn’t so hard after all!
The next morning, my son couldn’t wait to get dressed so he could wear the new pair of shoes the fairies had left him by his bed. With every step, the shoes lit up and he flashed all the way to preschool.
When I returned home, I picked up his old plimsolls with the intention of putting them in the bin. But ironically, I couldn’t bare to! So I wrapped them nicely in a box, wrote my son’s name on the box with “Beloved First Plimsoll’s” underneath and said “thankyou” to them before putting them up into the loft. Also known as – Plimsoll Heaven.
So I guess Plimsolls do go to heaven… x