Shoes are interesting things. No pair is truly comfortable, but without shoes, feet are often less comfortable, especially sensitive feet like mine. I remember how my little sister used to run flat out along our grandmother's gravel driveway, chucking huge white rocks behind her as she sped. I, the sensitive-footed, tiptoed along the driveway, in utter pain, amazed that she didn't seem to feel a thing. I adored shoes, for they allowed me the only means to run with impunity, no matter the terrain.
Kids and shoes are an odd combination. The little boy I watched all last year loved his green alligator galoshes, so he wore them pretty much every day. Shorts + galoshes. Snowsuit + galoshes. Church clothes + galoshes. Such a sweet boy, too, unless you tried to get him to wear something besides galoshes.
Kids go through the "Wrong Feet" stage with shoes, usually by the time they can put the shoes on. Both of my children placed their feet in the wrong shoes from 2 to 5 years of age, so that the toes poked awkwardly in strange directions. I could always tell, too. I'd fix the problem, only for the children to remove the shoes and place them back on the "right" feet.
"Aren't you uncomfortable?" I'd ask.
Their only answer? A weird, quizzical stare back. Of course they were comfortable.
But why am I talking all about shoes? Because my hectic Monday has given me a well-deserved treat. I tested my daughter on spelling, helped with several worksheets, nagged my way around the house, and rushed my kids to school this morning. Then, as I walked from my car into my own college building, I realized that one of my feet was making more noise than the other.
Why was I walking harder on one foot than the other? I tried to compensate. Nope, still louder. That foot felt weird, too. It didn't feel as comfortable. Was it swollen? Was the sock inside twisted?
I finally stopped and looked down. My foot was not the problem. It was my boots.
One black, with a square toe. One brown, with a rounded toe and a seam running down the middle. I'd put on one shoe each from two different pairs of boots.
All these years, and I still haven't learned to put my shoes on properly.