Thursday, October 11, 2012
Like many parents, I have bought a lot of shoes for my kids over the years, from Weeboks and pink high-tops to running shoes, basketball shoes, and hiking boots to homecoming heels and shiny black dress shoes. In those shoes my kids have toddled across the living room, skipped off to school, hiked across the county, and danced at the prom; they've run fast, jumped high, and kicked hard. Except for the current crop of shoes my kids have in their closets, most of the shoes I've bought over the years have been handed down, worn out, or donated. But I kept a little pair of Weeboks. They are usually tucked away in a box under my bed, but every once in a while I sneak a peek at them. They remind me of the days when my kids were first learning to walk. I think about those first wobbly attempts--how they struggled for balance, found it for a second, then toppled over and seemed to decide crawling was easier and faster after all. But then before long, there they were, pulling themselves up and trying again, and again, and before long, they no longer needed my hand to steady them as they cruised across the room. These days my kids are in the process of taking more first steps--steps across college campuses, steps into new professions and new responsibilities, steps into adulthood. They might wobble a bit or even topple over, but I know them--I've seen it before--they will get right back up and try again, and before long, they'll be running and jumping and dancing through their adult lives with courage and grace.