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My Daughter’s Tap Shoes 女儿的踢踏鞋


By Pauline Fraser
王蕴翎 选 安静 译

We ducked into the dimly lit thrift shop to get out of the rain. Like so many things since our daughter’s birth, I hadn’t planned on a trip to this place. But I figured we’d see what they had since we were there.
“Hi, today is stuff a bag day. Would you like one?” The clerk asked.
“What is stuff a bag day?”
“You take a bag and stuff it with what ever you want and it’s only $3. Best deal in town.”
“Okay, sounds great,” I said, despite the fact I hadn’t planned on buying anything.
“好吧,听着不错,” 我说,虽然我并没打算买什么。
I took my six-year-old daughter’s hand and we started to wander around. Suddenly there was a tug on my hand and my attention was being directed to the shoe section. She shares my weakness for shoes, so we stopped for a minute to look . I let go of her hand and she reached out to touch a pair of shiny black shoes with a strap and silver buckle.
“Buy me?” She inquired.
“Oh, Sweetie, they are tap shoes. You aren’t taking tap.”
“Buy me?” She repeated.
“Well, let’s try them on.”
She sat on the floor and removed her bright pink rain boots, with Barbie on the sides, and easily slid the new shoes on. A perfect fit. When she stood up she heard “click.” She took a step. Click, Click. Slowly recognition dawned , as she made the connection between the shoes and her moving feet. Click, Click, Click.
“Buy me?” With a hopeful look in her eyes.
“Okay Sweetie, take them off and put them in the bag.”
We looked around some more and got a few T-shirts, pants, books and games and a naked baby doll. Well, it’s stuff a bag day—might as well get my money’s worth, I said to myself. The sun had come back out as we emerged from our little side trip and we continued on our way. As we were near the car, Amara reached for the bag. As she climbed into the back seat, I gave her the bag wondering what treasure she was looking for. The shoes, of course. She was my daughter after all.
“My wear.”
It’s not a question, so I took the tag off and helped her with the buckle. Our next stop was the grocery store and these shoes were made to make noise, especially on my little girl’s feet. This could be interesting... Click, Click, Click—people turned to look as we entered the store. Click, Click, Click. I can feel the disapproving stares of the proper people. People who would never allow their daughter to wear tap shoes to the grocery store. I held my head up with pride. The click, click, click is music to my ears.
“Excuse me. Is your daughter in tap this year?”
“No.” I replied.
“Well why on earth would you allow her to wear tap shoes, here, of all places? They make such a noise.”
“Yes, isn’t it wonderful?”
“Wonderful? My dear, this is not the place to wear those shoes.”
“Oh, I think this is the perfect place to wear them. You see she asked for them.”
“Just because she asked for them, doesn’t mean you have to get them for her.”
“You don’t understand,” I said.
“When she was a baby, we were told she would never walk or talk. It has taken a lot of hard work and patience but she asked for the shoes and the click, click, click says that she can walk.”
My daughter, who is always on the move, is 18 now and will graduate from grade 12 in June. It has not always been easy, but it has all been worthwhile. She has taught me that it doesn’t matter what others think. They don’t walk in your shoes. And just like the ladies in the purple hats, sometimes you simply have to wear tap shoes to the grocery store—if for nothing else, just the sheer joy of hearing the click, click, click.

. thrift shop: (常为慈善机构募捐而出售旧物品,尤指旧衣服的) 廉价旧货店。
. weakness: 嗜好、爱好。
. dawn: 开始出现。