This post is written as a letter to my son, but it's okay for others to read, too.
I remember how much you hated wearing shoes as a child. You were always barefooted, even whilst riding your Big Wheel at full-speed-ahead down the gravel driveway, and you weren't afraid of using your feet to stop you at the bottom.
Of all my children, you never flinched if I had to dig a splinter out of your foot, because you had tough feet.
I don't know how many pair of shoes your father had to buy for you because you got in the car to go somewhere with him...barefooted.
I, too, dislike wearing shoes. I take them off every chance I get, and even prefer going outside for walks without them. Obviously there are seasons and circumstances which demand footwear, and I have pared my foot wardrobe down to a pair of muck boots for mucky farm work, snow boots (although my muck boots are actually warmer), and water shoes for just about everything else. Yeah, I would dig out something nicer-looking if I needed to, but those occasions are few and far between.
Just a few days ago I bought a pair of slip-on shoes at Goodwill, for those times when I need something a bit warmer than my water shoes. We were preparing to go to a ball game with friends, and I decided to wear my new shoes, which were still in our car, so I went outside in my socks. We busily set to work making sure we had coats and blankets packed for keeping us warm that night in the stands, and headed out. In my friend's car.
After about a half hour of driving, as we were nearing the stadium, I suddenly realized that I never put on my shoes! Yup, I was sitting there wearing just my socks. It was embarrassing, but also pretty funny, and I laughed at myself. I was willing to just go as I was, but my friend said no. She dropped off the guys so they wouldn't miss the game and we went shopping. Oh, and I had also left my wallet at home. Yup, I really had it together that night!
Parking downtown in a major city isn't always that easy to find, so she dropped me off on a corner, handed me $40, and said she'd meet me at Payless shoes. I headed into Ross first, but it was so chaotic I quickly decided to go straight to Payless. My feet are pretty wide so I have a difficult time finding shoes that fit correctly, and I occasionally end up w/ men's shoes. I was busy trying on shoes when my friend joined me. There was a pair that I really liked that weren't very expensive, but they didn't fit right. My friend suggested I try on her shoes, and she tried on the new ones. Hers fit me, and the new ones fit her, so she bought herself a pair - hooray! That was probably the quickest shoe shopping trip ever.
We made it back to the game, and I was able to give several other people a good laugh by sharing my story on the shuttle from the parking lot. Yes, I agree, that's something that usually happens with children, but I'm pretty sure that was the first time I ever did it. And you can bet that from now on I'll always be asked, before we leave, if I'm wearing shoes.
So, my son, it isn't just you :)