I took the little one to a big grown up shoe shop today, to have her big grown up feet measured for the first time and to buy her big grown up first pair of shoes.
Whether it’s clichéd or not it feels like quite a milestone. My baby can walk. She loves to wander around the living room bringing me story books to read, and she loves to climb the stairs on her way up to bed. She loves following me through to the kitchen for her lunch and she loves to toddle across the landing to the bathroom for her bath.
But these gorgeous little shoes symbolise that she will soon be walking away from me. She will walk away from me and towards others- friends, nursery, school, job and beyond. I hope and pray that she will always walk back, but every day she’s taking steps, both actual and metaphorical down her own path.
Last week we were shopping in town and she was getting fed up of being in the carrier so I set her down to walk back to the car alongside me. She giggled and chattered away the whole way- and refused to let me hold her hand. It turns out my little one isn’t going to have difficulty finding her own independence, with or without new shoes!
It’s a bit soppy I know, but the box that her new shoes came in has the following poem written on the underside of the lid:
This is the box that carried home your very first pair of shoes.
The shoes that took care of your soft, squidgy feet.
The feet that took those wobbly first steps.
These are the shoes that will remind me of how cute you were then.
And how proud I am of you today.
Keep walking little one. I’ll always be here when you come back.