Gratitude Day 6

You know those hands of hers, her thick fingers covered with callouses? Her feet were the same way. What you think she had shoes to wear when she was little? When she was four years old, she was out in the fields, picking cotton. The fields were full of thorns and the cut her feet up day after day until she grew callouses all over them, just like on her hands. My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem

I have been listening to the book My Grandmother’s Hands and this quote struck me and made me think about all of the people in the world who have gone without shoes and how many, many shoes I have had.

  1. my red Frye cowboy boots that I bought as a present to myself when I turned 35.
  2. my fuzzy pink slippers that I have been wearing constantly while working from home, that keep my feet toasty warm
  3. the “ruby slippers” my daughter had when she was three and what I learned from them- I had taken her and my eight-month-old son to a modern dance production for moms that wanted culture. Up until that point, I had the idea that my daughter was going to wear practical shoes that were good for her feet. She, however, loved her ruby slippers from Target. I told her she could bring them to wear during the show, but she had to wear her REI winter boots going there and coming home. After the show, she changed into her boots. Kids gathered up on the stage and danced wildly. We went up there and she stood shyly behind me. Finally, she looked up at me and asked, “I wear my ruby slippers?” I hesitated and then agreed. Only after she put them on, did she dance across the stage.
  4. my silver Birkenstocks that are so easy to slip on in the summer
  5. my shiny, hot pink high heels that I wore to prom- My dad bought me these on a Saturday morning at Summit Mall. I went shopping with my mom all of the time, but I loved shopping with my dad the few times I did it, because he never worried about what things cost, if he liked something, he would buy it for me. I think those shoes were more expensive than my dress!
  6. the silver shoes that I had to have in seventh grade and my mom bought me
  7. taking my preschooler son to Nordstrom’s to buy him tennis shoes that lit up when he stomped his feet
  8. the chunky platform high heels that I bought backpacking in Warsaw. After which, I carried them through Budapest, Istanbul, Ephesus, Rome, and Florence without wearing them once.
  9. the baby shoes with a bar that I wore to correct my pigeon feet- I am not only grateful for these shoes, I am grateful to my mom for performing the onerous daily task of putting my tiny feet into them.
  10. the white tennis shoes that my husband inherited from my dad after he passed away that are now grass stained from becoming my husband’s lawn mowing shoes (Also, I’m grateful to my husband for always mowing the lawn.)
  11. the tall black leather boots with a chunky heel that made me feel so glamorous at 25
  12. the yellow no-tie converse that my daughter wore when she was my size (briefly) that are now mine
  13. the white party shoes I bought for my one-year-old baby girl to be a flower baby in her aunt’s wedding- They were the third pair we bought because her feet kept growing and they were still too tight by the day of the wedding, so she danced in her baby bare feet.
  14. the navy blue fuzzy slippers my mom keeps in our closet for when she comes over
  15. the tall Uggs I splurged on, shopping at Alamo shoes on Clark St. in Andersonville with my friend Laurie when I came back to visit her after leaving Chicago
  16. the flat turquoise Moroccan shoes with embroidered hot pink, green, and yellow stars that I bought at Dar Medina, a Moroccan shop at Midtown Global Market, with my friend Mary Ellen. She and her family came to visit me in the summer of 2019 from Birmingham, England and we left the kids with their dads for the morning and snuck away to go shopping together
  17. the See Kai Run toddler shoes with velcro straps that my son wore and make my heart explode when I see them in the corner of his closet
  18. the Crocs I bought for my kids at the Crocs store in the Cleveland airport (after we visited my mom at the house I grew up in for one of the last times before she moved) my daughter’s sparkly and pink, my son’s tiny and black
  19. the professional, black flats I bought when my mom and I felt safe enough to venture out into a pandemic stricken world after the mask mandate was enforced by Governor Walz last summer
  20. the white, platform Sketchers I bought to wear to my wedding reception so that my dress could be altered to the heels I wore in the ceremony

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