The Fleeting Era of Tiny Feet
Ten Tiny Toes
It may sound funny, but I hold my son’s sweet little foot every night while we sleep. We’re a bed-sharing family, and it just so happens that the way he and I snuggle up together, his foot rests beside my hand and so, I started holding it. I think it provides us both with comfort and security. His little, tiny feet are one of the most marvelous things I’ve ever encountered. When I was pregnant, my best friend squealed, “Ooooh I LOVE baby feet! I can’t wait to take photos of his tiny toes!”
“Yes!” I replied, “Baby feet are the best!”
But, as I was a first-time mother, I didn’t understand just how magical baby feet really are.
I’ll never forget, when they handed him to me in the hospital, cord still attached, and I snuggled and inspected him for the very first time. He had ten little fingers, a shock of jet-black hair, dark eyes, an olive complexion, a perfect button nose, and best of all, ten tiny toes. There he was, my perfect and complete little boy. I’ll also never forget the day we left the hospital, when the photographer came and photographed him, his sleeping profile, his little hand grasping my thumb, and those tiny little wrinkly raisin toes.
Oh, How They Grow!
It only took a day or two for me to become obsessed with his feet. My favorite thing became dressing him in tiny socks, and tiny shoes. We have tiny sneakers, tiny loafers, tiny dress shoes, and tiny work boots. I am obsessed with his sweet little feet. However, it didn’t take long for those tiny little feet to begin to grow.
We outgrew tiny sneakers, tiny loafers, tiny dress shoes and tiny work boots. Each time we outgrew a pair of shoes, my heart sank. Just last night, we were headed to the grocery store, and I noticed his BRAND NEW size two sneakers were too tight. We just bought them two weeks ago! He’s worn them twice! How did this happen? I thought, “It must just be this pair.”
So, we tried another pair, and another, and another. NONE of his size two shoes fit. How did this happen so fast? All of these shoes fit him last week! I cried and then I got on Gymboree and ordered him two new pairs of shoes, in size 3: a pair of navy chukka boots for fall and a pair of navy boat shoes for now. Sigh. At least they’re really cute.
Last night, while we were dozing off to sleep, me holding his size three foot and him wiggling in resistance, I was feeling frustrated and reflective. At that moment, I just felt like things weren’t going the way I wanted. He didn’t want to sleep, our baby-sitter had fallen through for the next day and I was beyond exhausted. It felt like I was never again going to have any free time to just be me. Would I ever have time to do a full-makeup or be able to go get my hair and nails done without feeling guilty? Would I get to sleep in ever again?
As we snuggled, and I stroked his little foot, feeling frustrated with my life, it dawned on me: His foot. His little foot was a size two just yesterday, literally yesterday. Now today, it is a size three. Tomorrow when we wake up his tiny, little foot will not be as tiny and little as it is right now. These moments are so fleeting. I sighed, plunging further into my reflection, as he finally dozed off to sleep. His little foot went limp in my hand and I smiled, choking back tears.
Where do the Years Go?
One day, not too long from now, these tiny feet will start walking across our living room floors. These precious feet will lose their balance, fall and cry for mamma. I will scoop him up and kiss his little toes until he giggles. Then, not so long after that, these tiny feet will lace up in brand-new tennis-shoes and tread-off across a carpeted hallway and into a kindergarten classroom. This time mamma will cry for him. These little feet will be fitted for little cleats, and bound across a baseball diamond with mom and dad cheering them on from the sidelines.
These little feet will just keep getting bigger; they will outgrow four pairs of shoes in their first year of junior-high. They will carry him to his first dance, his first crush, his first kiss. These not-so-little feet will stomp into his bedroom, slam the door and yell “MOM YOU ARE SO EMBARRASSING!” and I will try not to laugh and cry at the same time.
They will walk through the halls of his high school. They will stomp on the gas pedal as his father teaches him how to drive. Then, one day not so very far away, they will walk across the stage at his graduation, symbolizing his ascent into adulthood. Eventually, they will lace up in fancy dress shoes and guide him down the aisle, symbolizing my giving him away to live his life with his chosen mate.
Footprints on My Heart
At this point, it has begun to pour down rain outside, a perfectly fitting thing, considering I am now crying buckets. Crying, sobbing really, and stroking his limp, little foot. I guess he hears me crying because he coos, rolls over to me and opens his little eyes. He looks up at me, smiles, and touches my face. I smile back at him, no longer upset about the stressful evening we had, or the baby-sitter falling through, or the fact that I may never again sleep in. In that moment, it was just me, my infant son, and his tiny little feet.
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