What is it about kids’ shoes?

I cleaned Mookie’s room yesterday and finally culled her shoe basket. I had already relegated a bunch of pants and t-shirts to the give-away pile, but it was a lot harder with the shoes. Why is that? Why do I feel emotionally attached to all of her shoes, when only a special few of her other clothes have that effect? Maybe because they show the imprint of her body so strongly? The toes are worn from her scuffing them as she runs, and from the pressure of her toes against the inside. The inside heels are worn right down by the friction of her feet.

We still have the first shoes she ever wore, a pair of high-top sneakers in purple corduroy. Some people bronze their babies’ first shoes, but with purple corduroy shoes, it would be gilding a pair of lilies.

Now and then her old clothes become keepsakes–the infant onesies a friend hand-cross-stitched snarky messages on, of course, and also a dress or top that is just so dear to one of us that we can’t bear to give it away, not quite yet–but most of them get put into the garbage or the yard-sale box with barely a twinge. With shoes, it’s different. I want to keep every pair.

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