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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Mom’s Questionable Day at the Mall

By Katy M. Clark

Flush with cash from my recent birthday, I strode through the mall. Today I could stop at any store at any time and spend money on myself, not my kids.

Giddy with purchasing power, I bought some decadent body wash. Then I treated myself to a new lipstick. Next I people-watched, noticing mothers and teen daughters dressed alike. I wondered if that would be my 12-year-old daughter and me one day. 

As my energy and cash dwindled, I found myself staring at a wall of brightly colored tennis shoes. “I would love a new pair,” I thought. 

Because I wear a size 10, I knew it was impossible that every pair would be available to try on. Indeed, the salesperson returned with just one.

But that pair fit perfectly.

“I really like them,” I said to no one, admiring the style and cobalt color. There was something vaguely familiar about them, too. Did I have similar shoes before?

“I’ll take them!” I announced, with vigor. 

I drove home with my treasures and was greeted by the love and affection of my tween daughter and teenage son. In other words, they barely acknowledged my presence.

As I put my purchases away, my daughter wandered over. I let her sniff my body wash and try on my lipstick. Then I pulled out my favorite purchase, my new kicks.

“Mom!” she cried, aghast.

“What?” I replied. What was wrong? Were they ugly? From an unethical company that used child labor? Or were they just soooo not cool?

“Mom,” my tween said more calmly, a hint of a smile tugging at her lips. “Look.”

Then she reached into the shoe rack of our mudroom and pulled out her own pair of tennis shoes.

They were the exact same brand and color as my new pair. Yup, my new pair was identical to the pair my tween already owned.

“I’ll take them back!” I gushed. “I knew they looked familiar!”

My teenage son appeared to see what the ruckus was about.

“Mom!” he shouted, noticing our twin pairs. “That is so not cool!”

“I said I’ll take them back,” I replied, this time like a petulant child.

But then I noticed my daughter was laughing. And I started to laugh. 

“You can totally keep them,” my daughter said, shaking her head with what may have been pity. I believe she even patted my head, but I can’t remember because I think I blacked out from embarrassment.



I hugged her and she hugged me back, still giggling. I truly hadn’t wanted to be her twin and was pleased that she didn’t mind we would match. Maybe we could wear them the next time we went to the mall together?

“Just don’t wear them the same time I wear mine,” she instructed. “Moms,” she said, shaking her head.

Moms, indeed.  

Katy M. Clark is a writer who embraces her imperfections as a mom at