My first pair of gumboots

Recently I bought my first-ever pair of gumboots. You’ll be surprised to learn I’ve never owned a pair of gumboots. I’m not much of an outdoors person. I don’t camp. I don’t tramp. I don’t really “do” outdoors. But my kid had a sporting event in a muddy location, and the other parent helpers recommended I buy some gumboots, so I decided the time had come for me to add gumboots to my shoe collection.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to drive to Taihape, the Gumboot Capital of the World. (Side note: Last time I was in Taihape I made my husband drive slowly up and down the main drag but I did not see one single person wearing gumboots, and I was sorely disappointed in you, Taihape.) But I did have time to nip into my local garden centre, where I was certain there would be a delightful selection of gumboots for me to choose from.

I was half right. The garden centre did have gumboots, but unfortunately, my size-10 feet were apparently too big to warrant the delightful selection I was expecting. There were two pairs that fit me. One was black with spots. The other was pink with cows.

Now, if you know me, you’d know that pink with cows was the OBVIOUS choice. But there was a catch. I would be wearing these to a sporting event for my child, who has started to have Opinions about what I wear. I needed to handle this delicately. So I took pictures of both pairs of gumboots, and I went home, and I casually showed the pics to my daughter.

“Which pair do you think would suit me better?” I asked. “Pink with cows, OBVIOUSLY,” she replied. She knows her mother well. I went back the next day and bought the pink cow gumboots.

When we arrived at the event, and I pulled my gumboots out of the back of the vehicle to put on, I had a moment of panic thinking my daughter would refuse to talk to me all day because I was the only parent helper wearing pink cow gumboots. I needn’t have worried. She didn’t want to talk to me all day because I’m her parent. None of the kids were talking to their parents, unless they wanted money to buy food.

There was a moment, however, when she and a friend were standing nearby, and my daughter pointed to me. “Hey, check out my mum’s gumboots,” she said. Her friend looked. I held my breath.

“Cool,” the friend said, and the two of them wandered off.

I’m wearing the pink cow gumboots everywhere from now on.

Katherine Granich

Editor, Tots to Teens

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