|Anna and her sister Emily, enjoying Bare Feet Weather years ago|
I loved reading Anna’s post on her blog about bare feet! For as long as I can remember, grandparents and friends have tried to put shoes on my children’s feet. To this day, I think my girls would rather be bare foot than in shoes. They grew up with toes exposed for the better part of the year. Only the frigid winter months forced them to don their boots when outside. I had the rule that shoes could be left inside when the outdoor temperatures hit 60 degrees. Many a day, that rule was overlooked as they scampered out to the meadow to play. Though we lived in a very drafty 200 year old house, the cold floors did not even keep them from kicking off their slippers during the winter months. I remember one time, when a grandmother was visiting with us, that she argued to no end with them about keeping on their slippers, until I said, “but feel their feet.” Upon close inspection, and to the amazement of the grandmother, their little piggy toes were just as warm as toast, without their slippers on. And after all, as a child, I remember going bare foot almost all the time too. Shoes seemed confining, restricting, and cumbersome. When wearing shoes, you must always be concerned about getting them soiled, or wet. You must fuss over socks that just want to creep inside your shoes, instead of staying up where they belong. Climbing trees is easier if you can use your toes to grip the bark on the tree trunk. Wading through streams is more pleasant if your feet are not weighted down by your water logged shoes, and on a hot day, if your feet are cool, then the rest of your body feels cool as well.
Friends and family that visited us in Vermont when our children were young, often made comment about their bare toes. Weren’t we afraid of getting a cut on our feet, or stings by insects, thorns, and briers? My girls would shake their heads and say “no thank you,” to shoes. Can you imagine the tragedy of never feeling the prickliness of sticks beneath your feet, the coolness of dew on the grass, the sting of frozen earth and white snow, the bumps and lumps of a dirt road, and the squish of….manure between your toes! Imagine never having to pick the fuzzies out from between your toes, or throw your foot over the edge of the tub to wash away earth’s blackness, or feel the warmth of the woodstove driving the sting of cold from your toes, or sit upon your daddy’s lap while he pull the splinter from your heel! A shear tragedy!!!
I for one will take off my socks today, in remembrance of all those years with toddlers around the house, and revel in the gifts that meet my feet!