I had to get Elle a new pair of rubber boots today since her feet have been growing like crazy. It's been quite wet here the last couple of weeks and she's been complaining every time she has to put her hand-me-down boots on. They were just too small. So, she now has new, black boots with hearts on them. She's sporting them right now with a bright pink skirt....so into fashion, my girl.
All this thought about rubber boots reminded me of an episode from my own childhood. It was a rainy day and mom was kicking my brothers and I out of the house for some reason..... Our rubber boots lived in the garage that was attached to the house, saving mom some extra cleaning from the mud and other things that would surely be tracked back through house. In my day, all rubber boots looked the same, black with orange soles. My mom had painted things on our boots so we could come home from school with same ones. Mine had daisies painted on them. (My brother's had lightening bolts on theirs and were dubbed with silly names. They even made up songs to go with their boots!!! I think I will have to tell more stories about my brothers at a different time!!) Well on this particular day, I clearly remember going onto the garage to get my boots and one of them was lying on it's side. I picked them up and carried them into the mat in the entrance. I then proceeded to put my foot into the boot that had been tipped over in the garage. There was something squishy in the toe, so I took my boot off and dumped out the squishy. It turned out to be a salamander. It must have crawled into the garage and found a home in my boot. I screamed and ran in circles around it. (A pretty typical girl thing to do!!) I think mom got the salamander into the dust pan and chucked it out the door while trying to console me. I was scared to put my foot into the other boot!!! To this day, if I have left a shoe or a boot outside, I tip it over first. Just to make sure!!! You never know what could be in there....
I find it funny that I still do that. One bad experience has tainted me somehow. I no longer have boot trust. One squishy salamander has jaded me. Often this is how I react to other situations and people too. If I have a run-in or a negative experience with someone, my memory is like an elephant's. I don't forget how that feels and I'm very wary of entering into the same situations with people again. Some people become taboo for me, because I think they are out to get me.
I've been thinking about second chances lately. There are a lot of people that need a second chance from me. There are things that I just need to get over. I would like to trust people. I would like to be forgiving. I would like to not be afraid of what "might" happen. I would like to respond to people without covering up past encounters. I'm starting to think that disappointment is a normal thing. People will let me down. It's how I respond to disappointment that uncovers how much I'm willing to be a friend.