Lessons from shoes
“Just follow the curve!” I exclaimed to my young son, Li’l D. “See, your foot curves this way. You need to put on the shoe that has the same curve.”
“Uh-huh,” he told me cheerfully before putting his shoes on the wrong foot.
After a few weeks of repeating this exchange, I started to say the same old thing when I realized he needed something different. Something appropriate for a four-year-old.
“See how when you put the shoes like this, it’s like they’re trying to smooch?” My son giggled as I pressed the shoes up against each other and made smoochy-face noises.
“That’s the right way. But see how they are definitely not trying to kiss right now?”
“Oooh, they don’t like each other!”
“That’s right. They really don’t want to be together. If they’re trying to run away from each other, that means they’re on the wrong foot. They’re supposed to be buddies.”
Unlike my useless follow-the-curve instruction, this made perfect sense to Li’l D.
When he puts on his shoes these days, I can hear him mumbling about how much they like or don’t like each other. His mumbling might perplex a passerby, but for this mama, it’s a sign of successful communication … and plenty reason to smile.