Little Teeny Shoes Just for Me and the Magic Shoe Lady.
Mama and Nana took me on a surprise journey yesterday to a magical place called a “shoe store.” I know what shoes are because I take Mama and Daddy’s all the time and carry them around the house. I even hide them far under the big bed and the crib, and I’m so good sometimes they can’t find them for a long time. I call this “the shoe game.” Mama sometimes looks like she may not like the shoe game, but I sure do.
I knew that there were little bitty shoes my size because I have sandals and tennis shoes and dress shoes for when we go out sometimes (although I prefer my toes to be bare and free), but I have never been on a journey to go and get my own shoes before that are just the size of my feet.
We went to a store called “Saxon’s,” which has been around for a long, long time in Richmond where we are. There were so, so many little shoes, and everything was bright and colorful and beautiful. A lady came over named Betty, and she asked about my walking and my age. Then she took this giant foot shaped metal thing with slides and put my foot on it to “measure” it. She talked to me softly and played with my feet, and I couldn’t help but do everything that she said (without words– it was her eyes that told me what to do)… she was like magic. She said that she had been fitting little people for shoes for 37 years, and Mama later told me that she could have even fitted her for shoes when she was small ages and ages and ages ago.
Then she came out of the back with a bright white pair of shoes with little teeny flowers on them. Mama sighed and said they were almost like her first walking shoes, and Nana said they were like hers as a baby, too. Some things, Mama said, stay the same for a long time because they are so good– and those are often the best things. Betty the magician then put my shoes on just right without me curling my toes. Mama can’t do that all the time, but all that she had to do was to look at me and tap my foot, and I straightened them right out. Once they were on, I stared and stared at them… until Betty gave me a bright orange balloon that said Saxon’s Shoes on it that floated in the air no matter how much I tried to hold it down.
Mama and Nana say that these shoes are going to help to support my little ankles when I walk and keep me from walking on tippy toes. Mama later told me that the way that I just got my first pair of shoes was exactly the way that she remembered getting shoes when she was little. She told me that there weren’t many places that still paid attention to making sure that you got everything to fit “just right” and that Saxon’s was special because they did things this way– making sure that little ones like me are taken care of and are happy. Most of the time now, including Mama, everyone just gets what they want on a computer or they go out and are on their own. Mama told me that people used to pump gas for you and check your tires, that clothes used to be fitted, and that shoes were always just the right fit because others helped to make sure that they were a long time ago, but even when she was little, that was starting to go away. I think that she may be right– that we need to hold on to moments when others truly take the time to help you out and to help, in small ways, to take care of you.
As for my shoes… I have already worked on scuffing them up and making art out of them. Mama says that will just make them even better to see when I am big, so I’m going to really get these ones worn down to make her proud. Wind me up and watch me go, Mama.