Saturday, May 13, 2006

Other People's Shoes

My daughter, S, will be 2 in August and she has been our daughter for almost a year now. (Sidebar, ran into a coworker who's wife and daughter were at work the other day and I asked how old the daughter was and the wife replied 30 months. 30 months. You have got to be kidding me. I tuned out of any possible conversation because I was counting how old that was. It is 2 1/2. Just say 2 1/2. I digress...) She LOVES shoes, and purses. If there are a pair of shoes lying about, she is allllll over them. She not only puts them on, but attempts to clumsily walk around in them. It is amusing and sometimes annoying because someone is always missing a shoe or 2 thanks to her obsession. A positive consequence of her behavior is that we all put our shoes away in the shoe closet much more frequently now.

Now while S loves to get a high from other people's shoes, she also loves to have hers on as well. When she gets her Mary Jane's on, she does this gleeful little dance and the look of pure ecstacy is worth more than any future words out of her mouth could express.

Her behavior (I keep wanting to spell this "behaviour" because I just finished working on a project for our EU colleagues where I had to spell in REAL English...)got me to thinking about my desire to wear other people's shoes. Not literally although my friend Carri just bought the cutest pair of brown shoes, but figuratively. While I do love my own shoes/life, wouldn't I love to borrow and wear other people's now and then, you bet!

Several of my friends are stay-at-home moms (SAHMs). The ones who are my friends have a life I think I would enjoy on most days, although I know that it is not what I might daydream it to be (bon bons and soap opera watching). The ones I consider my friends are not of the bashing those who selfishly chose to work variety...those who do bash those of us who work, not so much my friends. These ladies are busy, running kids about and feeling guilty about a not perfect house, even though by my standards I am sure it would be (yes, this is you J and C!). I know that guilt is as much their companion as it is mine.

My single friends and my friends without kids, ahhh... sleeping in and worrying only about myself! Those shoes would be soft and comfortable and I would relish them for one weekend...but while out on a nice afternoon stroll or while dining in a restaurant without having to take care of anyone's needs but myself - I know I would see the most adorable family and find myself wishing that was me. we are TALKING. Several of my colleagues have retired during my tenure at my place of work, and they are living FANTASTIC lives now. They were at my company during the really good days and got some serious stock options that ended up being worth a lot of money. One of them left our state and moved to one of the Carolinas (not sure which one) and is running a B&B, he and his wife's dream. Not too many negatives as long as you keep a good relationship with your spouse and kids and have some funds to help realize your dreams. Mine will be to travel, we would love to travel for a few months at a time, stopping in a place here and there and teaching English. Ahhh, those shoes will be incredible!

I guess I could go on and on about the different shoes I could try on, some might be fun and open-toed with a cute kitten heal, some could be hippie hiking boots, some might be practical loafers. While I might like the adventure of trying them on, I think I will always go back to mine, and my favorite are my Merrell open-backed waffle tennies. These shoes have been with me most everywhere and signify when I am relaxed and able to enjoy life. I sneak by with wearing them to work on some Fridays, but most weekends, you will find me in them. Because they are my run around shoes, they are also most often left out and are not where they should be, in the closet. This makes them the most frequently worn shoes by S as well. However, when it is time to leave, S knows where her shoes are and she runs to get them.

I hope that I am able to foster the self-contentment that I feel with my life into my children, while it is fun to try on other people's shoes in your mind, when it is time to go out into the world, I hope they are content with their own shoes.


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