I am the owner of the little blue shoe seemingly cast into the parking lot of the dollar store. What I mean is that I own the shoe, but in no way am I the wearer of that small infant shoe with the baby elephant smiling on the side. The infant shoe belonged to my son. That pair of shoes was a gift at my baby shower, from my mother in-law, but she isn't anymore. Since you found the shoe, I suppose you'll want to know how it got into your hands.
My presence at the dollar store with my infant was out of necessity rather than a natural ability to be frugal. At this dollar store, I could buy anything from socks to baby bibs for a dollar a piece. At this point I have to.
It was with a heavy heart that I drove my fathers car to the dollar store, because I can't afford my own anymore. I packed up my sweet baby wearing the hand me down onesie in his car seat, also a gift at my baby shower, bracing myself for the cold in the frigid February snowstorm. Just me and baby. I shopped the aisles for necessities: toothpaste, toilet paper, baby shampoo, laundry soap, tampons, dish soap, thought seriously how nice ziplock baggies would be, but skip those for imitation vanilla wafers to aid with his teething gums. I saw my baby boy begin to wake up from the slumber he had been in throughout the car ride and the first part of the trip. I quickly made my way to the checkout knowing the combination of gum pain, orajel is too expensive and his late nap will ensure a mid-store fit/stares/judgey old people etc.
Up on the conveyor belt went all the items from the basket. Adding them up in my head, trying to calculate 7.25% tax, anxiety welling inside me because I was almost certain I had $14.36 in my bank, but the total if I calculated the tax correctly was $15.01. The whimpering in the cart was getting louder as the cashier announced my total, as I predicted. I didn't have enough. I tried to think about what I needed the least. Can one put dish detergent in the clothes washer? Is there a dual purpose for toilet paper and tampons? The combination of the line growing behind me, my son wailing loudly, a lack of adequate sleep and my indecision about what single item to return created a surge of anxiety, eating me from the inside out. I mumbled something to the cashier about not having enough, grabbed the car seat and raced for the door in tears. I was so ashamed.
We made it to the car through the deep snow and I strapped him in, tears blurring my vision. I cried the entire way home right along with my wailing son. Just me and baby. It isn't until we were home that I noticed his missing elephant shoe. He must have kicked it off. I never saw a thing. I cried a tear for the little lost shoe just as lonely as me.
I hope you picked up the shoe that cold, snowy day and thought about me, my son and his little foot missing his shoe. We weren't always so lost, so in despair as that day. Hopefully you saw that shoe and turned it in, good hearted mother like me that I know you are. I'm just sorry that I never returned out of shame for that little blue shoe seemingly cast into the parking lot of the dollar store.
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