Chloe Boot

One of my favorite things about covering celebs is finding out they enjoy everyday things like the rest of us everyday people.

Julia Roberts knits. Britney has a weakness for Cheetos. Carrie Underwood likes softball. Natalie Portman's favorite subject was math. There's simply something fascinating, and often revealing, about the ordinary things that extraordinary people do.

To honor my obsession with the ordinary, here's a story about what I did over Christmas break.

On Christmas Eve at her Grandpa's house, I decided to take my 6-year-old daughter to a nearby pond to feed the ducks some leftover bread right before sunset. She put on her favorite brown Ugg boots and off we went. Once there, though, Christmas bliss turned into crisis.

"Daddy, my boot ripped!"

I scanned down from her sad face to see a single sad thread, dangling from a torn seam that had opened up down the entire length of the inside of her mini footwear. She explained that she had pulled on a loose thread and the rest "just came out." She was near tears.

"That's OK," I assured her. "Daddy will fix it."


"You'll see."

Back at Camp Grampa, I found an old sewing kit in the basement and went to work. I threaded the thickest thread I could find through the thickest needle in the box and began my repair work. For the next hour, as she watched A Christmas Story I sat in the living room carefully stitching together the wounded boot. Some 45 stitches later, Dr. Dad finished his surgery.

As a kid, I used to repair my torn hockey equipment and, through necessity, taught myself how to sew. But truth be told, this was the first time I had ever sewn anything for my daughter.

I'd like to say my handiwork was an early Christmas present for her, but it was more than that. The smile on her face when I handed her back the good-as-new boot was the best gift a dad could ever get.

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