Breaking in Shoes. (Day 23, Year 3)

While I detest many traditional rules (like being exactly on time and whatnot), I do have certain rules that I live by. Never have a naked lip--gloss or lipstick is always a must! Don't wash your hair everyday, it strips away your natural oils. There is always enough room at the table--invite everyone! And of course, always break in your shoes. 

My shoe rule is very specific and no one (except for Nicholas, who is absolutely the most like me) listens, but I'll tell you all: 

Before the inaugural wearing of new shoes, one should break those shoes in and assess if they can get through the intended event wearing said shoes. 

Sometimes, my assessment is wrong, like the blue velvet heels from last Christmas which seemed like event shoes; but in the end were really just sitting and looking pretty shoes. Maybe the pandemic and working from home made me rusty, so I am not taking any chances with these rose gold beauties I intend upon wearing to the Lemon Ball this weekend.  

The Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Lemon Ball is one of my most favorite events ever. Not only is it a BALL (hello, ball gown!), it is also a night that I find myself truly celebrating the amazing life we've been blessed to live. Friends, no one ever truly believes their child will have cancer and even all things years later, I am continually in awe of the journey life has taken us on. 

That celebration includes other families that we love so much. I don't want to compare being a childhood cancer family to being in the military and at war, because I have no experience with the latter. But, it is truly a unique, traumatic, yet incredibly poignant journey. These other families just get it. 

They know what we are celebrating--we are celebrating that we can go to Ball and wear fancy clothes, after so many nights sleeping in the hospital in the same clothes we'd worn for days on end. We are celebrating that we've been given the very incredible gift of being able to witness humanity at its absolute best. We are celebrating that our children's battles mean something and hope for cures truly exists. We are celebrating because we are together and together we are not alone. We are celebrating because there is still more life to live and more lessons to learn from one another. 

We are celebrating the very extraordinary thing of attending a ball, while remembering the very extraordinary things cancer forced us to do like leave our child as they were wheeled into an operating room. 

No one can understand all these things unless they've walked in our childhood cancer shoes--those shoes by the way, are the only shoes I've never broken in before wearing.