after a beautiful morning
of rough-and-tumble playing with Rami,
I noticed that
his shoes have holes in the toes.
These shoes do not belong to him alone,
they first belonged to his brother.
We first put them on each of the boys
in order to ensure that their socks stayed on.
As my grandmother, Gram, cradled a two-month-old Asher,
she taught me,
"If you keep their feet warm, honey,
that'll go a long way."
(That is the wisest piece of parenting advice I've ever received.)
So on the shoes went, keeping two sets of toes (my absolute favorite baby part, hands down) toasty warm.
Later, their tops were mercilessly dragged along the ground
by not one, but two, expert crawlers.
The soles were the next to be worn out by two sets of first steps,
not much farther than a year apart.
And now, as Rami becomes an expert walker,
gaining speed daily,
learning to stop, pivot, restart,
relying less and less on couches, tables, and our legs to anchor him,
these soft-soled baby shoes have walked their last steps.
I can't really explain
why I've devoted an entire blog post to these well-worn scraps of leather.
It's just that...
They kept those precious toes warm and safe
for the better part of two years.
A daily part of the boys' babyhood has now left us.
And I didn't even see it coming.