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May 19 2014

The Ridiculousness of Shoe Shopping With My Boys

By at 10:07 am

foot-locker

As a kid I learned that the so called Gates of Heaven opened on Rosh Hashanah and stayed open until the end of Yom Kippur. I therefore had about 10 days or so to get all my prayer in until The Gates slammed shut and I had to wait until next year to apologize for all my lies or ask for a Wonder Woman outfit.

I thought about this business with The Gates while I was in Foot Locker with my boys yesterday.

Shockingly, the sneakers I had purchased for them a short while ago had shredded and feet had grown and it was once again time for a sneaker outing. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 10 2013

Shopping for Kids’ Shoes is Getting a Lot More Complicated

By at 10:01 am

baby shoes

More than any other article of clothing, my children’s shoes have borne, for me, emotional weight. This started before they were born.

When I was pregnant, too superstitious (pu pu pu) to populate the apartment with nursery furniture and too nauseous to think about a layette, I allowed myself a single indulgence from among the hand-me-downs that I otherwise kept stashed in the brown paper bags in which they came through our door: Evil eye be damned, I placed a pair of rabbit-eared booties on the nightstand next to my bed.

Tiny and surreal next to the growing stack of pregnancy books left unread, the shoes seemed a stand-in for the hope lodged in my swollen belly, the embodiment of a promise that by some miraculous combination of effort, modern medicine, and fate, my 40-year-old body would bear fruit. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 15 2012

A Cheap Person’s Guiltiest Secrets

By at 3:01 pm
first day of school

First day of school!

In August, I confessed to being cheap, and wondered if it was messing up my kids.

I followed that up in October with Five Easy Ways to Save Money for Your Family.

But, now comes the deepest darkest confession that an out and proud cheap person like me can make. I am going to talk about the things that I actually will–unashamedly–spend money on:

Item #1: Hebrew School/Jewish Day School Read the rest of this entry →

May 17 2011

On The Farm: Big Shoes

By at 10:48 am

My 16-month-old girl loves shoes. She seems to love them indiscriminately – from giant mud caked farm boots, to rubber boots six sizes too big to her new butterfly sandals. She wants to wear them all. I think there is something universal about children wanting to try on all the shoes in the house and maybe that’s where expression that someone having some pretty big shoes to fill comes from.

This morning, she brought me her little pink sneakers. I put them on and she was satisfied for about two seconds. Then she toddled off and brought back her butterfly sandals. But when I tried to take off one of her sneakers to put on the sandals she was clearly annoyed. She does this little “eh, eh” noise to let the world know when she is not happy. I think it is sort of a pre-eye roll that says, “No Mom, you don’t get it!”  She is at that difficult age where she only has a handful of words but she obviously has a lot she wants to say.

She wants her sandal on her OTHER foot and she is running head first into the natural limit that she only has two feet.  This is hard for her (“eh, eh, eh!”). I am taking my time with this one, not enjoying it exactly but feeling privileged to witness the event. I count her feet and tell her that there are two.  But she seems to think I am making a poor excuse for not putting on all the shoes.  We take shoes on and off and on and off until she seems somewhat satisfied or at least ready to move on for now.

These are the types of mini-milestones that I love to watch. I know in different ways, hitting natural limits is a lifelong struggle. Haven’t we all occasionally wanted to be in two places at once or choose all of the above when you have to choose A, B or C. On the farm, natural limits abound. One field cannot be irrigated and relies on rain; another is so sandy that only certain herbs grow there. These limits can be frustrating but they also save us from having too many options and impossible choices.

It brings to mind the old Yiddish expression that “you can’t dance at two weddings with one tuchus“. And in time, she will learn this lesson in many different ways. In the mean time, we are spending a lot of time changing shoes.

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