Like many you, the dream of spring has brought on a full scale "clean", you know what I mean. The exhausting, you have to touch everything to decide if it is kept, donated or pitched. That going though everything, well it feels like everything, makes you want to nap, drink or cry with the sheer amount of memories that flood your mind.
I will tell you up front I am not the mom that saves every piece of paper that my kids bring home. The amazing amount of papers that 5 kids create on a daily basis would turn my already full house into a den of paper piles that would make any hoarder jealous with the elaborate mazes to get to the bathroom. I sort and I organize it for each kid, I'm not a fucking animal. I save artwork, report cards, papers with good grades and some with bad grades and I save baby shoes...
I know. Baby shoes.
I love baby shoes. Not just for the cute factor, if that was it I would save EVERYTHING from babyhood all that shit is cute enough to turn the darkest heart diabetic with sweetness. I save then to remind me that all my children have walked in this world long before they were mine.
Our children have used their feet to push their birthmother's bellies up, kicking them at night, showing that they were there. they used them to to stretch out as they grew bigger and bigger until they pushed their way into this world. Feet, kicking and stretching to strengthen legs and tummies. Two of our girls used their feet to take their first steps, steps that touch soil thousand of miles away. Steps I never saw, but steps that have shaped who they are and who they will be. They carry scars on their feet, from not wearing shoes, scars I will never know how they came to be and they have beautiful toes that will never grow nails. Their feet tell their story.
When A came home she was 4, she was scared and she didn't trust me. Why should she? She had been put in 2 care centers, heard 3 different languages and every woman that she trusted, bonded with put her in the care of someone else. She would run and hide in a corner, kicking and hitting me, screaming and crying. She wanted me to give up, she was tired of loving and being moved. I had to earn her trust.
The first thing she would let me do was touch her foot...slowly I would rub it, singing to her a soft tune, holding her foot, the foot that had traveled across a world to be in our family. The foot that had seen more loss and fear then I can imagine. She started putting the foot out for me to rub...to hold. I began to bond with her, letting her know she was safe...that nothing in this world would take her away from me. I gave her a pair of shoes when we were in Ethiopia, a little leather pair of soft shoes with bunnies on them. She loved them...they were "hers" no one could take them away. She slept with them and hid them when they weren't on her feet. She wore them until her heels hung off the back even though she had shoes that fit.
For me shoes are what hold the memories. Shoes remind me of how far we have come.