Wednesday, March 01, 2006

lessons still to learn

Isaac is obsessed with shoes. He loves them. He wants to wear his all the time. He wants us to wear ours all the time. It signifies going outside, which he wants to do, all the time. So the other day I took him with me to go shopping for a new pair of sneakers, figured he’d like it. He liked it okay, but I was disturbed by the outcome in general.

I tried on one of the only pairs I saw that I liked. I put them on as best I could, since I was in one of those discount clothing stores where the security tags make it impossible to actually tell if the shoes fit, much less if they are comfortable. There you are, a grown adult in public, tottering around in jerky steps, your feet tied six inches apart, a plastic tab digging into the arch of your foot, trying to make it to those leeeeetle mirrors on the bottom of the seats at the end of the aisle so you can see how your potential purchase will look on you. You do your best to enact your imagination so that you can think of yourself striding gracefully through crowds of people who part when you approach and point in awe at your footwear instead of tripping clumsily onto the little seat above the mirror where several pairs of men’s size 10 Adidas have been abandoned, their boxes strewn about.

The problem is that I am a size 8. Sometimes, I’m an 8 and a half. The sneakers I wanted only existed in size 9. They weren’t “super” big, and I bought them. Walking home, Isaac in the backpack wiping snot all over my collar, I realized the implication of what I’d done. It’s as if I don’t or can’t expect to find what I really need, and so, I settle. It’s as if I don’t have faith enough in the Universe to provide what I need, the right thing, that I’ve learned “good enough” is as good as it gets and might give you blisters, but them’s the breaks. I realized I don’t want to pass this lesson on to Isaac. But so far, I haven’t returned the sneakers.

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