Tuesday 22 May 2012: Heart and Sole
After my mother died, I discovered a heart-shaped box, in which she'd kept my childhood cards, photos and poems. Yesterday I found this box again. A couple of the mementoes made me smile, because they brought back a pre-adolescent peeve I'd nearly forgotten. As a child, I hated wearing shoes, especially fancy ones that had to be strapped and polished.
One of the items in the box was a photo of me as a 5 year old flower girl in my cousin Tacy's wedding. It was a posh affair. I remember this event, not for its gowns or cake, but because of the difficulty I had wearing the white patent leather shoes the occasion required, a discomfort that showed in all the wedding party pictures. I remember the bride being devastated when she spotted my fidgety feet in nearly every single photo proof.
Also, in my mother's box, I found a poem I'd written when I was eight. It clearly highlights the fact that getting me to wear shoes was a struggle for my seemingly civilized mother, who preferred her daughter not be barefoot in public.
Put Your Shoes On
Put your shoes on a mother scold.
was the reply.
Because its cold.
My feet are warm
and I'm doing no harm.
Why not do as I ask?
You don't ask, you tell
and besides, I like to hear you yell.
Is putting shoes on a hard task?
I prefer my feet bare
and why should you care.
Because I am your mother.
Even today, I don't like high heels or fancy shoes. Give me a pair of Keens or Birkenstocks, and I'm a happy camper. Better yet, let me be barefoot with grass between my toes or sand under my soles.