Monday, November 5, 2007


This is one of those stories I probably shouldn't tell, but am going to anyway. I'm going to tell it anyway for a couple of reasons. First, I've already told just about everyone whose opinions matter to me, and so far, they have not condemned me completely (at least to my face.) And second, I'm just like that. I tell stories I shouldn't tell.

So this is it. I have a thing about shoes and feet. Nothing kinky. It's just that when I was a kid and asked for new shoes, my mother would show me her feet and say, "When I was your age, we couldn't afford new shoes and I had to wear the same shoes for three years and my toes got all twisted and bent." And her toes were twisted and bent. Her second toes, which should have been longer than her first toes were curled under like a corkscrew. Her baby toes were mashed in so they hid under her feet. It wasn't pretty at all.

So I wondered then, although I probably didn't say it out loud more than once, why she would subject us to the same torture, when they could afford to buy us shoes? Why did we have to go through this every year? Yes, once a year. It's not like we were Imelda Marcos wannabees. We each had one pair of shoes each year, until we started taking gym, then we had a second pair of sneakers.

Now, in my infinite wisdom, like so many others before me, I swore my children would always have shoes that fit. They were from K-mart mostly, but I bought new pairs two or three times a year if I needed to. God as my witness, my children would not have crooked toes!

OK, there were times when I let the boys wear their shoes until the soles fell off. There was that sort of embarrassing incident, when one of them came home with slightly used shoes from the poor children bag at school. The slightly used shoes were Nikes or something, and better than I would have bought, so I sent a thank you note and left it at that. But I vowed to do better.

So, now, we come to this last week.

My baby had needed new shoes for a month. His toes were sticking out. The soles of the shoes rubbed blisters on his poor feet. By the time I bought him new shoes in an early morning emergency trip to the 24 hour Walmart, his feet looked like raw meat.

I rinsed them, salved them, and swathed them in aloe infused sockies. He rested all day. I felt terrible. The next day he put on his new shoes and flew off to school. He kicked the ball, ran the bases, leaped tall buildings. All it took was new shoes and a mother with the sense to buy them.

Ironically, coincidentally, or karmically, I stepped on a safety razor this weekend, so I am now the one with the hurt foot. I rinsed it, salved it and wrapped it in Mark's aloe infused sockies. But somehow, I knew I deserved it.

No comments: