Candid Motherhood | Of Love and Ugly Shoes


I live with two little fashionistas.  Even though they are only 6 and 8, they are already experts on what is and is not fashionable. My older daughter, in particular, frequently has an opinion about what I’m wearing.  And here’s the thing with kids: they have not yet developed that sense for how their honest opinions might affect someone’s feelings. They will tell you exactly what they think.

For example, I recently went on a business trip where I knew I was going to be on my feet a lot.  I was helping to run the resource center for a conference that my organization was putting on. My primary concern was to bring shoes that would not be absolute suicide for my feet. I also didn’t have time to go shopping.  So, I dug down deep in my closet and packed some shoes that my mother had given me as a hand-me-down in 1997. The brand on these shoes read, “I Love Comfort.” Well, “yes indeed-ee” is all I have to say.  They were as comfortable as walking on a


The day after my return, my older daughter was hanging out with me in my bedroom while I was unpacking.  She saw these black behemoths poking out of the corner of my half-empty suitcase. As I was hanging up clothes, I heard a suppressed gasp escape from her mouth.  I turned and looked at her.

“What?” I said.

“Whose shoes are those?” She asked with disdain.

“Um, you mean the one’s in MY suitcase?” I retorted saucily. She says nothing to my sarcastic, albeit defensive, rebuttal. She simply keeps her eyes affixed on the shoes, eyebrows raised theatrically.

As though succumbing to her interrogation I hastily offer, “Let me just preface this conversation by saying that my mom, your nana, gave them to me…and they are VERY comfortable.”

“She must not like you very much.” The 8 year old fashion police says without a hint of sarcasm. “Those are the ugliest shoes that I have ever seen. Don’t ever wear those again.”

“But, honey they are sooooo comfortable!”

“That’s no excuse.” She says as she walks quickly down the hall.

Of course she was right. The shoes had no place anywhere near a fashionable woman’s foot. The fact that my mother felt the need to edit them out of her wardrobe in the late ‘90’s should have been my first clue.

I don’t want to make my Riley seem cruel.  She’s the ray of sunshine in our family; a kindhearted, sweet spirited child. But no one in my house is a pushover. Especially when it comes to standing up for truth.  And the truth was the shoes were beyond ugly.

As I was processing the “ugly shoe event” later that week, a verse from the Bible came to mind.  It’s in the book of Proverbs and the first part says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

Sometimes when you love someone, the most faithful thing you can do is put your finger right in the sore place and say, “This is ugly. Don’t ever do this again.” Hearing something like that hurts. And it should.  But we cannot despise the wounds of a friend.

To be forthright, my daughter’s emphatic statement about my shoes didn’t rattle me.  I almost wore it as a badge of honor that I had made an un-cool fashion choice that had mortified my kids.  I sort of felt like I was now part of an ancient sacred trust of obliviously embarrassing parents.  But I was also touched that my daughter thought enough of our relationship to be so brazenly honest about my shoes.

After all, it’s an age old adage of Womanhood: Friends don’t let friends wear ugly shoes.


Karis Murray is a Scottsdale, Arizona native and mother to daughters Riley, age 7 and Lydia, age 6.  She is currently the Creative Director for the Family Matters Minute Radio Show and serves as Lead Writer and Editor for the show.  She has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and is a poet in her own mind!  Learn more about Karis at her blog:


  1. So so cute Karis…thanks for brightening my day with this one! I often find myself at a crossroads between dressing to young or too old for my age…it really feels like a dilemma! My Natalias honesty is often what saves me! LOL

  2. I don’t see the big deal in wearing comfortable shoes. Then again, I’m a dude.

    Great article Karis, it’s great when our kids show us the heart of God.

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