I was in Piggly Wiggly the other day when I saw a little girl, about 2, sitting in the basket and wearing killer shoes. (I love shoes and would own far more than the three pair I have if my foot size wasn't extremely hard to fit and thereby expensive, and I AM cheap.) Sandals, designs on them. They obviously did NOT come from Payless or Walmart. In fact, I doubt if they came from any retail store in the neighborhood. Little girl was well behaved, a head of curly strawberry blond ringlets, and a cute toddler sundress. The woman pushing the cart was casually dressed.
"Nice shoes," I commented, nodding at the little girl.
The woman laughed.
"Aren't they just too much?" she said, patting the little girl. "My brother is 47 and this is his first child. I'm afraid he goes over the top now and then on things for his daughter. The shoes are nice though. She'll grow out of them in another month or two and they cost $70."
I nodded. That's pretty much what I figured.
She went on.
"I'm her aunt and also her nanny. I moved down here from Idaho to help take care of her until she starts to school. Her mother is an attorney and didn't want to give up her career, but they didn't want anyone but family taking care of her. This way, no one is around her who doesn't love her and will be around all her life."
"Wasn't it hard to give up your own life for this?" I asked.
She smiled. "Not at all. My brother is paying me the same salary I was making, and I bank most of it. I'll be able to get back into professional work in a few years. Meanwhile, we're family, We like each other. We all love this little girl."
She leaned over and hugged her. The child grinned and hugged her back, and then, of course, pointed to a snack she wanted and begged, "Please?"
Her aunt said no, that they would have a snack when they got home.
Huh. The Pig is in a working class neighborhood, but it is on a main street. The little girl did have killer shoes, and she and the woman were obviously affectionate.
No reason to make up the story that I can see.
An extraordinary tale to be sure. That's why I love talking to people. Someone is always doing something I would never think or or would never have the opportunity to do.