My childhood memories of growing up with my four siblings are to me what shoes are to most girls. I covet them like little gems rotating in the palm of hand, glistening in the sun. Perfect morsels of love, light, love (hit repeat). But I love shoes too. For better or worse, shoes are one of those items in my family of seven, that never experienced the hand-me-down tradition. Whichever shoes each kid had, they had until they wore out. I remember one pair vividly that my sister Jessie (two years older than me) wore in primary school: bowling-like, red-burgundy Cougar's. She loved them, their soft leather changing over time.
I loved Jessie's Cougar's too, so much so that if they existed now in my own size, I'd make them my signature everyday shoe. Jessie, a most caring, beautiful and stylish individual, lives in Scotland now where she is a doctor. I visited her and her husband a few months ago where they just purchased a lovely home.
And any day now, my sweet sister - pictured above at 7.5 months pregnant - will become a mother when she gives birth to her first child (she is due tomorrow!). And just like that, the realization hits that we are not kids anymore.
When I opened a care package that I just received from the Cougar shoe company, my first thought was 'wow, I remember when my sister had a pair of Cougar's! and now she's going to have a kid of her own who'll wear little people shoes!' Cougar has no idea of this backstory, and naturally, their styles have changed with the times and don't look anything like what they used to, when I was a kid. However, this enduringly Canadian brand continues to celebrate the tradition of making quality product coupled with unique design. I'll let you know how my boots go this week as I testdrive them in Montreal's rain and cold. My fingers are crossed in the meantime that Cougar may one day reissue those old styles and that this soon-to-be aunt will have the chance to buy her niece or nephew a pair of burgundy leather Cougar's one day soon enough too.