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Flash football!

I missed the memo that light-up sneakers were no longer cool.

Racing down the field at dusk, all we could make out was a faint outline of his body, his freshly cut hair bobbing up and down softly, and the bright red and blue police lights of his Skechers illuminating his path.

“How embarrassing!” My husband moaned.

“What do you mean?” I inquired, wondering if I’d missed our youngest son, Eli, fumble a pass or lose one of his football flags to an aggressive opponent.

“His sneakers,” my husband lamented, “They light up.”

“I know,” I smiled. “Aren’t they cute? He thinks they make him go faster.”

“It’s humiliating,” he retorted. “We have got to get him new shoes.”

“But he loves those shoes,” I insisted. “Besides, they’re brand new. We had to search for days to find a pair of these in his size. Plus they were not cheap.”

“Do you know why they were so hard to locate?” he challenged.

“No,” I confessed.

“Because big kids do not wear sneakers that light up like police cars!” he reproached,  “Only babies wear those.”

“Don’t you think you’re being a little over-sensitive?” I asked. Then, surveying the field, I added, “It doesn’t look like anyone else has even noticed.”

“Not yet,” he snipped. “But it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the laughing stock of the team. Then the kids will exclude him from everything. No one will ever pass him the ball. It’s just a disaster waiting to happen.”

“O.K.,” I said, rather astonished by his catastrophic prophecy. “But I think you’re maybe over-reacting. Does this per chance bring up something painful from your own past?”

“Please don’t psychoanalyze me,” he said defensively. “I just know how cruel kids can be.”

Sensing that I’d hit a nerve, I decided to back off and run a different play. I suggested asking our son directly if he felt funny about wearing his light-up sneakers. My husband agreed, albeit reluctantly, and after a Gatorade and some Cheez-Its, we broached the delicate subject. Eli confessed that no one else on his team, or in his grade at school for that matter, sported the light-up sneakers. He even accepted the fact that they might be designed for a younger demographic. He surprised both of us with an easy willingness to switch to another brand.

We both secretly congratulated each other on how mature and rational our youngest child had suddenly become. There were no tears, no theatrics, not even a hint of upset. We were proud. Our baby was becoming a thoughtful young man.

“However,” Eli guilefully insisted, “My new shoes will have to be Geox. Because Jacob has those and he says they have super-hero powers and can make you jump higher than Wolverine and run faster than Flash!”

We both smiled at each other. O.K., so maybe he’s not all that mature just yet. But at least he’ll have a new pair of sneakers. And who knows, maybe they’ll improve his game after all.

About gettrich

Debra Rich Gettleman is a professional actor, playwright and journalist living in Oklahoma City with her husband Mark and two amazing boys, Levi and Eli.

3 responses to “Flash football!

  1. Mack Burly ⋅

    Chicks really dig my light-up Sketchers. I’m not giving them up.


  2. Beth ⋅

    Hi, I’m a 44 year old mother with light up women’s shoes. I do not think your son should be embarrassed to wear his shoes. In fact, my 7 year old thinks my shoes are “cool” and wants shoes just like them. I have taught my son that he should not let what others think bother him. It is more important how he feels. He is his own person. I know he would not care if others laughed or teased him because he wears his hair long in a pony tail (his choice) and although other kids in his class have teased him he doesn’t seem to mind. When he first told me that some kids were teasing him I asked him if he wanted me to cut his hair and he said no. He told me it didn’t matter if they thought it looked “girlish” he liked his hair. He said someday he might be bald like his dad so he wanted to keep his hair for as long as he could. I am pretty sure if I got him some light up shoes like he wants he wouldn’t let what anyone thinks or says dictate how he dresses or looks. He has his own style and his own mind. The only reason I would suggest to him “not” to wear shoes that light up during a game is if they were causing problems for his team mates to concentrate on their part of the game.


  3. alex

    Hi there dear, me and my mom are as well watch humorous video clips except after I completed my homework


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