I remember around this time of year when I was like, 9, the snow would stop falling and everything started turning to slush. It was always around this time of year that I'd start asking my mom if I could wear my sneakers instead of my snowboots. She always said no. I hated wearing those boots...they made cool, hollow noises when you drug your heals against the pavement, but other than that, they were just big and clunky and...bright purple. Besides, they had this white (almost permenently dyed yellow by the end of winter from getting dirty) 'fur' trim that would irritate my legs. But I loved wearing my sneakers for the first time in a new year...I don't know why, but they felt different. The soles rubbed the road differently - almost like new sneakers, I really liked the noise it made when you crunched snow under the toe of sneakers, and they just made me feel like summer was closer, I guess. Before mom would let me, I'd always wake up really early in the morning, put on my sneakers and go outside to play. I'd always wind up home before they woke up, and mom never knew a thing.