I should have taken better note when I found just one of my eight year old son’s shoes at his grandpa’s this past week. I was like, that’s weird. Kid isn’t even here with me. He’s at home. How can the only shoes he wears, well one of them, be here and him not? It’s kind of like looking for your car keys and you know they are around the house because the car is there. But in this circumstance the keys are at another location than the car.
How is he getting around this past week? He does have another pair of shoes. I assume and hope they are at home, but they are some serious hiking shoes that require a lot of help getting them on. I am quite sure I would have been involved in that process of helping him unlace and tie those huge blocks onto his feet. They took patience, and I can’t remember helping him lately. I concluded that he must not have left the house for the whole week. Wow. That’s kind of weird not leaving the house since last Sunday. And, he must have left grandpa’s last week with only one shoe on? Maybe no shoes? But I can only find one here.
I grabbed the spider man velcro shoe and threw it in my diaper bag and really didn’t think much about it until it was Sunday morning and it was, “Time to get your shoes on! We’re leaving in 1 minute!” This minute can be so tricky. So much pressure to get all seven ducks in a row and remain in a churchlike state.
My husband would just like everyone to get in the car regardless of anything, say explosive diaper bombs, great gothic sculptures of morning hair with fragments of some girly experiment lingering in it from last night. What would he think of a child with one shoe? He really doesn’t like to be late. Me, I don’t like to be late either but I have a fear of getting places too early and a fear of looking like I have seven kids and the kids looking like they have a mother of seven kids. Early to church means more time for little kids to get squirmy and more time for me to get stressed out. I like to get places on time looking and smelling normal which makes us late.
In my search to find his other spider man shoe, I found one of his hiking shoes. So I took that lead and started looking for its match. Nope. What does he do with just one shoe?
Time for a new strategy: girl’s closet. He followed me dutifully, trusting my mothering sensibilities, and blocking out the fact we were in the girl’s room. They have tons of shoes. They have tons of everything. I do a lot of thrift shopping and that means lots of girl stuff and not much boy stuff. There just isn’t much at thrift shops for boys his age, or older for that matter. Sure, I could buy him new shoes. But imagine the frustration when only one of those shoes are found. The other option here would be to see if the hiking shoe and the sneaker shoe made a matching right/left pair, but I am going to leave that one as the last option.
I surreptitiously dug into the girl’s stash of shoes that would warrant his size. The best I got were a pair of sherbert orange leather sandals. Without saying a word about them, I applied shoes to feet. His toes stuck out an inch from the top. He judged them a good fit in his happy-go-lucky way. Considering our desperation, I also considered them tolerable. He could at least get in the door with these things fastened to his Barney Rubble feet. And maybe, just maybe, his pants, if long enough, would cover his ugly step sister fit bulging out of the dainty slipper. He could take the offense off after church and go barefoot the rest of the day in true hillbilly fashion. So I tried to fasten the velcro around the top of his still a little baby chubby foot, but there was no way. Nope. And, nope. No way.
This next route was the winner: his first communion shoes. 1) They were a perfect fit. 2) They were boy shoes. 3) They were exactly where they should be, paired nicely together by his dresser.
It was at this time I told him that the sandals he was somewhat fond of were girl shoes, hoping that would soften him up to wearing these bad boys instead. He chuckled at me, and said, “Mom, you put girl shoes on me?” We had a good laugh. Silly mom.
Just to give you a proper visual, (There was no time for photographs, people. We were on one minute to get to church on time.) Edmund had on a green Minecraft shirt with gray corduroys. I did try to have him wear a nice striped shirt for church, but if you would have saw his face about changing out of his favorite shirt, you would have done the same and let him wear his not-Sunday shirt. The kid really doesn’t ask for much, and one of the things I have learned as a mother is to pick your battles wisely, and to say yes to as much as you can. This was an area I could concede, and considering the day’s circumstances, the kid was gonna need to hold onto something normal boyish. His corduroy pants made a nice transition from Minecraft shirt to shiny black dress shoes. Edmund looked satisfied with his new look and said contentedly, “Well, I am going to church.”
Monday morning, there is only one black dress shoe in the kitchen. True story.
Believe it or not, I have more Edmund church stories both involving short shorts. You can mentally fill in the details. He is one trooper, that nice guy.
Edmund (not in church) just riding the celestial waves that is Number Five in colossal family.