Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shoes as Toys

I remember when my sisters and I were kids, we could entertain ourselves with my father’s shoes. Seriously. My Baby Alive sat somewhere neglected while we would take turns putting on my father's shoes and walking around the house. While one of us would stomp around, the other two would laugh ourselves to tears—as if this were the cleverest thing we could ever have thought of, as if it were the first time we were engaging in these antics.

I thought of our shoe game last night on my way home from my parents’. My sister Liz took the hour drive north with my niece and nephew to visit and so we had an impromptu get together with my other sister, Mary, and her kids as well. After dinner, Liz took the opportunity to shop without kids while Mary went to the gym and I sat outside with my nieces and nephews who all played together and well, although their ages range from 16 to 12 to 10 and almost 4.

As I sat on the back kitchen steps and Jonathan, Amanda and Meredith (in chronological order) played Frisbee, my youngest nephew, Charlie, made a game of taking off my flip flops and running away with them. “Where are you going with my flip flops?!” I would play-yell and go chasing him across the lawn until he would drop them and keep running, out of breath from laughing and sprinting. At least a dozen times I let him take off my shoes as if I didn’t know he was doing it; every time he laughed from the tips of toes, as if it were the funniest game on Earth.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I suppose.

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