My boy has red shoes. Red sparkly shoes. So? This story actually begins a long time ago, when we were shopping for shoes to go with John\'s tux for Uncle Danny\'s wedding. We went into a generic shoe store and had a look around, John, as usual, had his own ideas. While Jeff and I were looking around in the boys aisle John was searching the whole store. When it was time to go we noticed that John had chosen a pair of red, sparkly Mary Jane shoes. When I asked him about them he told me "they have now ties! Just like my tuxedo!" the simplicity of that statement melted my heart. Of course it made sense to him. There were indeed, little bows on each shoe. We didn\'t get the red shoes that day, but I told I\'m that we\'d get some someday. In New Zealand there was a pair of shiny pink Mary Janes in the dress up box at Playcentre that John borrowed on more than one occasion. Cool. Whatever. Fast forward to Christmastime here in Florida. John needed a new pair of shoes so he and I went out to look. At K-mart he found a pair of white, patent leather Mary janes that he, again, fell in love with. I told him that he could get them if he promised he would wear them every day. He got shy and silly at that point and couldn\'t make that promise, so we didn\'t leave with the white shoes that day. This week, however, I was at a local resale shop and I spotted a pair of the original red sparkly shoes. $.53 really? Sold. I happened to be on my way to pick John up from school, Lily home sleeping with Jeff. When I walked into school and saw his face I knew something was off. He ran up to me and started crying that his finger hurt. Turns out he had dislocated his little finger on the playground (doing so something he wasn\'t supposed to be doing, no doubt) I cuddled my boy on my lap and we put some ice on his little finger. I whispered in his ear about his red shoes and a huge grin spread across his face. Thrilled. So happy he couldn\'t contain himself. My boy wore those shoes all afternoon. Lily tried to put them on whenever she saw them empty. I really scored with this one! Next day. John wore the red shoes to school. I was a little nervous about it, but encouraged him to make that choice. I snuck his crocs into his backpack and told is teachers they were there just in case. When I picked him up he seemed just fine, he had the job of carrying the shoe bin to the door and then he gathered his red shoes into his arms and came with me towards the parking lot. "John. Those are NOT your shoes". My boy stopped in his tracks. I looked at him and gave him the chance to respond. Silence. "John. Those are girls shoes, go find yours." are you kidding me? This was coming from another parent at the school. I intervened at this point, as I was watching John\'s joy crumble right in front of my eyes. "actually, they are his shoes. He chose to wear them today. He likes them, and I like him" she stopped talking then. I got a few nasty looks from other parents but John and I walked to the car and went home. Why? Why did she have to go there? I later learned that a few kids made fun of my boy on the playground. He didn\'t seem to care too much about the other kids, but the confrontational comment from a grown up really stopped him in his tracks. My boy wears sparkly shoes. He thinks they are pretty. Jeff and I will support him. Whenever. Whatever.