Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baby Shoes

Dear William, my baby boy,

You are napping right now, asleep in your crib. Your crib, which used to be a beautiful display of carpentry, an investment in a piece of furniture, is now covered in thick strips of quilt and velcro so that you won't continue to gnaw away at the side of the crib and wake up with paint chips on your mouth.

And the tiny kitchen table is even more crowded with the addition of your high chair seat and your endless sprays of pureed fruit and veggies that you love to fling high and low with your baby spoon. I am forever scrubbing the floor and the table around you. 

And I am supposed to be rushing around our house like a madwoman, disinfecting and picking up as best I can while you nap. We have a busy week, with visitors every day, and the house should at least be somewhat straight less hazardous. But on my way to mop the floors after I put you down for your nap, maybe 5 minutes earlier than I should have, I saw your baby shoes on the dining room table.

Baby shoes. My baby's shoes. If ever there is a reminder of how little you are, it's these shoes. You know, little son, most days I am cheering you on, teaching you to swing, holding your hands as you try to walk a few steps, feeding you bigger and bigger chunks of food, repeating one-syllable words in a clear, slow voice so that you understand how to say them yourself. 

But these shoes. 

I will happily pass on your baby clothes as you outgrow them, and your toys will be donated, but I will keep these shoes forever and a day. I will watch as we replace these baby shoes with walking shoes, lace-up shoes, ridiculously expensive tennis shoes, prom shoes, work shoes, you-don't-need-me-anymore because-you-can-drive-yourself-to-the-mall-and-buy-your-own-shoes shoes. But when you are all grown, and you live far away in a house with a child of your own, and I am an old woman in a house that is always clean, always quiet, where no babies cry out for me in the middle of the night, I will pick up these shoes and hold them to my heart and think of your precious baby face and your sweet baby feet and remember that I had a baby once, too.


On a much lighter note, here is a picture I took of you and your new best friend playing this morning. Because if there's anything cuter than a baby in footed jammies, it's two babies in footed jammies.

1 comment: