Piper begins ballet class this week and as cute as wearing the one ballet shoe is, she really needed a mate. After a successful shopping trip (and let me be clear that I define “success” as we actually bought the necessary shoes, Piper didn’t shout anything too inappropriate, and she only broke one thing) we were trudging back to our car, struggling not to pick up every piece of trash along the way, when a homeless man approached. Now, nobody loves the homeless like Piper. I’m generalizing, of course, but she appreciates their often mismatched clothes and the shopping carts of obvious treasures. They, too, share Piper’s thriftiness and adoration for found objects. I was attempting to steer Piper toward the car (think herding cats in a parking lot) when the homeless guy begins shouting “Stinky Butts! Stinky Butts! Stinky Butts!” I don’t know if he was searching for discarded cigarettes or not, but Piper appreciates all things potty humor so this sends her into a fit of giggles, which, in turn, cracks me up, too. We’re dry heave laughing in the middle of the parking lot, appreciating the homeless guy’s random proclamation when Piper shouts back, “My dad says that, too!” The homeless guy turns to Piper and gives her a thumbs up.
Once upon a time there was a ballet shoe. There was only one ballet shoe, but it wasn’t lonely. The shoe had been passed to Piper from her older sister, who had lost the mate along the way. But the lack of partner didn’t matter to Piper. She loved the ballet shoe just as it was.
She wore the ballet shoe to bed every night. She put it on when she came home from school. She carried it in her backpack during the day. The ballet shoe was in good company. There was also a hot pink ruffled tutu that Piper wore every day. Every single day. One hundred and twenty-seven days in a row and counting. It went well with all of her outfits. Her mother had to wash the tutu while Piper slept with her one ballet shoe to make sure the tutu was ready for morning wear. The tutu was the first thing Piper put on every morning and the last thing she took off at night. Sometimes the tutu liked to sleep in her bed so that it could stay close.
Piper said she felt like a superhero in her hot pink tutu and one ballet shoe, and so her mother let the magic take its own course. The end.