My daughter has been obsesssed with shoes since her very first pair. A girl of few words, aged 14 months, she looked at those pink size 3s and said ‘oos’ with the biggest smile on her face. From that moment onwards, her face has always lit up at the sight of shoes.
At the age of about 18 months, she spotted a beautiful sight in a shoe shop window. It was a very sparkly sight. And she wanted it. Lelli Kellys. She couldn’t get enough of looking at Lelli Kellys in all their colourful, sparkly loveliness. We didn’t get her any, though. They were very expensive, we were short of cash and her feet were growing like nobody’s business (she went from a 3 to a 7 in just a year).
But the obsession continued. And we softened. Was it really so bad to buy a pair for the little girl who wanted those sparkly shoes more than anything? So for her 3rd birthday, we used Grandma’s birthday money to buy her a pair of Lelli Kellys. They were colourful with big, sparkly crystals on them. And, remarkably, they lasted a year.
I grew to love Lelli Kellys. Yes, they’re girly and sparkly and expensive. But they’re also hardwearing and practical. They’re good for running and climbing trees, while also looking pretty. And if they get muddy, they go in the washing machine.
And so the tradition began. Every year, Grandma’s birthday money would be used for Lelli Kellys – a white pair with red strawberries on for her 4th birthday, a glittery pink pair for her 5th and a white pair with red cherries on for her 6th.