A Slice of Shoes

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers.


Suddenly we realized that everyone has needed new sneakers for awhile. I’ll accept my parent of the year award now.

L’s are too small. She started complaining 2 weeks ago, now that I think about it.

H has been wearing his non-sneaker shoes for months. But when he couldn’t find them on Friday, he squeezed into his sneakers. “These will be better for soccer anyway” he told me. Oh, yes. Soccer. It’s just the after school club, but maybe sneakers would be a good idea.

E’s toes are almost sticking out from dragging his feet when he rides his plasma car. I promise I tell him not to do that. Hey! At least I make him wear shoes.

So Sunday we went shoe shopping. The kids were mildly scattered, bringing shoes to the bench, trying them on, and I had a quick flashback to shoe shopping with my mom when I was a kid. I don’t know where we went, but I remember the shoe salesperson going to the back room to get my size, hopefully in the color I wanted.  My mom sat with me,  helping me lace the shoes, feeling for my toe when the shoes were on. Shoes we weren’t buying went neatly back into the boxes after my mom re-stuffed them with the paper.

So, I tried to feel for toes, and help the kids put the shoes back neatly. But somehow it just wasn’t the same.

L quickly found a few pairs to choose from, and then her boredom set in.

H was so excited to have sneakers again, “Look mom! I can run so much faster in these! I think they’ll be better for soccer.”

E found Star Wars sneakers, but he wasn’t sure of them at first. New shoes always feel different, tight. But, when he realized they not only lit up, but made R2D2 sounds too, he was sold.

H wanted to change into his new sneakers right away. E was a bit worried about the muddy park we were going to, so he stayed in his old shoes.

The next morning, getting ready for school, E asks me if it’s going to be a muddy day. “Is it going to rain, Mama?”

I say no, that it should be fine and he grins. He runs over to his new shoes, still in their box.

I want to pause that picture. That unabashed excitement for Star Wars sneakers.

It’s just too much, these little moments. Why is it so heartbreaking — the joy on my 6 year old’s face as he puts on his new shoes?

6 thoughts on “A Slice of Shoes

  1. I felt so connected to the two distinct parts of this post.

    First…the need for new shoes! I SO get it. I don’t understand how they go through them so quickly & how we all miss it, realizing week’s later that they’ve needed replacement for awhile now…but we do. It happens every time! And, mine often argue that they don’t need new shoes. Really? With your toes hanging out of the old ones?!

    And then, that joy…those little moments….they are SO BIG!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I am SO glad I’m not the only one with the shoe problem! I think it also happens with pants… but I’m holding out for shorts season… I think!

  2. Yes! There’s a beauty in simple things that almost makes you weep. I loved going to the shoe store with you and enjoyed the flashback. You tucked your self-deprecating mom humor in very neatly. It made me want to read the post.
    Unabashed excitement. Those two words say it for me. I think of my kinder buddies coming in from recess to reading — unabashedly excited.
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you! Yes – the more I thought about that idea of unabashed excitement… the more examples I found of how that describes so much of early childhood. A sticker! A treat! A book! A new pair of shoes! I wish I could bottle that up and save some for the teen years. .. 🙂

    1. Thank you – it really is that joy, isn’t it? I need to just learn to take it in and not let it get too bittersweet. My friend sent me this quote after reading this slice: “Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.” (Wess Stafford)

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