Little Shoes to Fill

My Friends,
Long ago I promised myself I wouldn’t morph into a stereotypical mother. That mom wants to shove her big son’s, size 14 feet into toddler shoes again. That mom wants to place a puppy-patterned hat on her sixteen-year-old daughter’s head.
Max and Caroline

Single digit temperatures have forced me and the giant husband indoors. During yesterday’s mall-walk while following orange footprints affixed to tile, a scant tear pooled in the corner of my eye. A beautiful little dress with flowers bursting like a spring garden along its hemline had caught my attention. I imagined the delicate daughter, my Caroline twirling in it. Her toddler cheeks rosy pink and her giggling as pure as the precious white dress.
little dress

Then wouldn’t you know my other eye formed a tiny tear as we passed by the toddler shoes. I remembered the big son – my Max – running down our old, wood-lined driveway. Back then, his hair stuck straight up as if in perpetual shock and he loved wearing work boots. The work boots gave him a ‘thumpy’ gait and made his diapered rear end bounce from side to side. This beloved memory is forever velcroed to my heart.
little shoe

Caroline and Max are no longer small. I’ve had the joy of watching their shoe sizes change. They’ve grown into warm-hearted and gracious teens. Still I pray, when they walk into adulthood they never forget the simple goodness of wearing little shoes.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve become a walking cliché. 🙂

Thank you. May you dream of following the footsteps of happiness.

Max and Caroline painted long ago with acrylic craft paint. I plan on redoing this painting someday. It needs more cool colors. I’m not too happy with it, but it worked for the post. Both photos taken yesterday morning at the Newburgh Mall. Sorry – I don’t know who designed the dress or the workboots.

27 thoughts on “Little Shoes to Fill

  1. I had just finished my morning shower when I sat down and read your post. I’ve completed my cleansing by washing out my eyes. Your fond memories were so well writed I couldn’t help myself. 🙂


  2. Aw – what sweet memories! I can just imagine how cute those work boots must have been – my fave toddler stage is when they are just getting the hang of walking and are kind of doing a drunken Frankenstein gait around town.


  3. Ah, you’re morphing is all good, Missy; after all, kids grow up so quickly — life moves so darn fast — that morphing is to be expected. 🙂 This is such a nice post, with palpable longing — and that portrait exquisite! I think you’re being too hard on yourself, lady, because I can’t imagine what all else you’d want to do to it — it’s stunning. And it’s ironic reading your post today, because last night Bob and I went to our mall to pick up a TV (which we’re returning tonight) at Sears, and I suggested we “walk the mall” since it was so cold out and the snow was gusting. We had a nice walk, but I felt like a) I wanted to stop and buy things, and b) I was an alien dropped onto another planet. I had no idea there could be so many “hip” stores — heck, even the “old-hip” Spencer’s has been given a new look and I think I’d be afraid to enter. Yes, I felt OLD. But it was fun, the walk, and warm, and I as long as I averted my eyes toward the store windows (buy!) I enjoyed the evening. 🙂


    • We must have been twins in another life – so many things cross every witch way. Both the photo of the dress and the boots were taken while walking through Sears yesterday. 🙂
      Keith and I aren’t that brave to walk outside at 5 am now, though we’re certainly hairy enough too 😉
      Congrats on the new TV – what fun!
      I think the next consumer digital experience will be the hologram thing where the images walk off the screen and into our homes, ooooo.
      Thank you as always, for your kind, enjoyable and humorous comments, Deb!!!!
      AM 🙂
      ps I need to borrow a few cats – we gots mices in the basement – argh – Mojo only gets the ones outside – he likes the thrill of hunting in nature


      • Ah, you shan’t joke about me sending you a cat! I know exactly where I can find one, tonight, and I can have it transported to you by, oh, say Sunday! 🙂 (I’ll bet Mojo, if not Rocky, would love having a feline around). And yes, we’re definitely sisters of different mothers, don’t you know — and I believe you got the height and long hair I didn’t (darn it!). Now, those holograms would be cool if they could step into the home and cook and clean; I would be all for that, actually (and so, too, Bob). 🙂


      • Yeah, maybe I should rethink the cat thing 😉
        Height is overrated. I say this from years of walking into bars in my 20’s and generally being taller then most of the guys – doesn’t make one feel too attractive 😉
        Good luck with the TV and I hear the first folks to walk out of the TVs will be from, America’s Top Chefs 😉
        AM 🙂


      • Well, we took the TV back (poor picture), walked the mall again (bad idea on Friday night; felt like chaperones), and then bought a Purdue t-shirt for my nephew’s BD part next weekend (he’s going to PU). Nice deal, too, because Bob and I got a t-shirt out of the deal (3 for the price of 1)! That’s my kind of gifting! And hey, thought of you and your family — afterwards we went to 5 Guys (I know, healthy walk, unhealthy dinner) and were surrounded by wrestlers. I mean, wrestlers from all kinds of colleges. Turns out there was a national wrestling meet in town — the USA Multi-Divisional National Duels (whew! had to look that up), with 86 teams! Maybe one day I’ll get to see Max wrestle in little old Fort Wayne (if they host again). 🙂


      • Hah, Max’s favorite place to eat of all time is 5 Guys!
        ANd hey, you never know, if he keeps up with the wrestling and still enjoys it into college, you may one day meet the big son 🙂
        I can’t remember if I ever told you, but one of my sister’s sons – got a full ride to Lehigh and also had his Masters paid for via wrestling. Not that I’m dreaming Max will get a scholarship – but, I’d love him to come out of college with a debtless degree 🙂
        AM 🙂
        Happy Sunday!
        Mojo not feeling well. I spent last night keeping him on my lap. We’re going to wait it out a day or two. He’s eating and drinking – just acting a bit punky….


      • Oh, AnnMarie, I hope Mojo is feeling better soon! I can just imagine you holding him last night — I’ve been there, know what that’s like. I always think if dogs are eating and drinking they’re okay; when they stop, then you know they really don’t feel good. And I do think there’s sort of a “bug” going around in the canine world, too. Man, I hope MJ feels better! And I don’t blame you for hoping Max can get a “debtless” degree — the price of college is crazy these days. And btw: I’m going to get back to you later today re: email … first time I’ve been rendered “speechless,” Missy. I’m still in my thoughts. And, finally, if Keith was watching a show on the Cowboys, that’s doesn’t mean — say it isn’t so! — that he’s a Cowboys fan and will be pulling for them today, will he? We’ve got to sweat out the Colts and Packers — this will be a long day in the I-state; luckily Bobo is working so he’ll only yell at the TV set for the later game. 🙂


      • I had the choice of either holding Mojo’s sad little face in my hands or my markers – darn it. Suffice it to say, I’ll try to get some studio work done today. Mojo is on the couch now looking quite sad. His eyes look clear, his nose is cold, he’s eating and drinking – he’s just very lethargic so we’ll keep our fingers crossed, but thank you for your kind thoughts. I’ve passed these on to Mojo 🙂
        Speaking of finger crossing and every other body part that can form an X – Keith and I are really hoping these kiddies of ours don’t acquire too much college debt. We’ll help out where we can, but oh, boy. Both kiddies do really well in school – so we’ll see…
        Last night, I chose to move from my studio with lapdog to tv where football watching was happening. No 😉 re: Keith luvs Cowboys – he loathes the Cowboys (and I’m quoting him directly!) the show was just interesting! He is a big Giants fan but I’d have to say his biggest loyalties and the largest chunk of his sports heart is with the NY Yankees (and the few times I’ve ever seen him get teary eyed are during the Old Timers’ Games).
        We’re rootin’ for the Colts too!!!
        AM 🙂
        ps I sent my letter to Rob
        and all email words written yesterday were/are spot on 🙂


  4. While I can’t speak from the perspective of a mom, I can speak from being someone’s daughter. I think it’s inherent for moms and dads to paint this picture of their children as young and fragile – thus wanting to ensure our safety at all costs and at all times. And though not all transitions are spectacular, I think the experience of changing from being that dependent youngster to being an ally and confidante is a wonderful thing.

    Besides, we children will always need/run to Mom and Dad when there’s an “adult” boo-boo (this I can attest to from personal experience).


    • Ah, Nel –
      Spoken like a true daughter. Thank your reassuring words. We parents spend our parenting lives with our children’s wellbeing a top priority. There comes the point where we must let go. And most of us do. We say to ourselves, “we did our best – the rest is up to them.” We usually do this with proud smiles – then we worry some more, but hide it better:-)

      You sound like an amazing daughter. Your parents did an excellent job and are blessed to have you in their lives. 🙂
      AnnMarie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hehe. I’ve made myself many promises for if I ever have kids, but then I imagine it’s different after you’ve experienced it. Lots of different emotions and feelings. I like the painting.


    • There are all kinds of emotions through all stages of life. Kids tap into the deepest part of a parent’s soul. My kiddies have made me a better person. They’ve made me less selfish about my time and more selfless. 🙂 I know some parents have difficulty with their kiddies in the teen years – so far – (knocking on my wooden kitchen table) my kiddies have been terrific (of course, I’d like them to be neater around the house).
      My biggest shock to this day – was when I left the hospital after the birth of my first child and wasn’t given a step-by-step manual on, “How to Raise the Kid You Just Made!” 🙂
      AnnMarie 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words and Happy Sunday 🙂


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