Brown is the new black / by Susie Lubell

On Wednesday I cracked the code on my son's shoes. He's had this pair of black shoes that he's been wearing ever since he was gearing up for prek. It was summertime and I was desperate to get him out of his synthetic, sweaty black cowboy boots so I took him shoe shopping at Target. And of course, he wanted to buy a pair of pink sparkly ballet flats. Sorry Charlie. So he found a pair of black shoes with Velcro that looked like they were orthopedic but I relented and those are the shoes he's been wearing for the last year. So you can imagine at this point the state they are in, a year later. Total tatters. He doesn't even want to wear them anymore. And anyway it's been getting warmer so I bought him a pair of sandals off eBay which he helped me pick out. They arrived and he loves them. Terrific. But we're going camping this weekend so he really needed close-toed shoes. We went to Target again and he picked out a pair that I thought were pretty reasonable actually, and very similar to a pair he wore when he was two, but a different color. They didn't have his size. But that night I went up to the attic and pulled down his old brown pair and tried them on his sister. She loved them. They're little slip-on tennis shoes. Very sporty. He took notice (of the shoes and my delight in her wearing the shoes). Then the next day, Wednesday, I came home with the exact pair in his size. He was thrilled. They fit. Now my kids wear matching shoes and they love it. I love it. Bye bye black shoes.