I read this last night in my January Reader's Digest. I laughed until I cried and then told it to Kaitlin and Marisa and we laughed again. I hope you enjoy!
If the Boot Fits, Wear It By Trish Sinclair
It was the first snow of winter—an exciting day for every child but not for most teachers. Up until now, I had been able to dress myself for recess, but today I would need some help. Miss Finlayson, my kindergarten teacher at Princess Elizabeth School near Hamilton, Ontario, had been through first snow days many times in her long career, but I think she may still remember this one.
I managed to get into my itchy wool snow pants. But I struggled with my jacket because it didn't fit well. It was a hand-me-down from my brother, and it made me wonder why I had to wear his ugly clothes. At least my hat and matching scarf were mine, and they were quite pretty. Finally it was time to have Miss Finlayson help me with my boots. In her calm, motherly voice she said, "By the end of winter, you will all be able to put on your own boots."I didn't realize at the time that this was more a statement of hope than of confidence.
I handed her my boots and stuck out my foot. Like most children, I expected the adult to do all the work. After much wiggling and pushing, she managed to get the first one into place and then, with an audible sigh, worked the second one on too.
I announced, "They're on the wrong feet."With the grace that only experience can bring, she struggled to get the boots off and went through the joyless task of putting them on again. Then I said, "These aren't my boots, you know."As she pulled the offending boots from my feet, she still managed to look both helpful and interested. Once they were off, I said, "They're my brother's boots. My mother makes me wear them, and I hate them!"Somehow, from long years of practice, she managed to act as though I wasn't an annoying little girl. She pushed and shoved, less gently this time, and the boots were returned to their proper place on my feet. With a great sigh of relief, seeing the end of her struggle with me, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"
I looked into her eyes and said, "I didn't want to lose them, so I stuffed them into the toes of my boots."
--Canadian Trish Sinclair recently self-published a collection of her life stories.