When The Shoe Fits
Sometimes our relatives and friends have a special, verbal description of someone that instantly identifies them as the person in question. When our family speaks about a female member who definitely loves “purses,” “rings” or even “nail polish,” we immediately recognize the described individual. Such is the identification for the word “shoes” that belongs to granddaughter Jessica.
All through her growing up years, Jessica has been linked to her attraction of footwear. When she was little, she loved to dig into the “dress up box” of clothes, but especially the shoes that were discarded by older members of the family. Her winning selections were not “flats” but those that had small heels. These served her desire to enjoy the grown-up noise they made when she walked in them. Since most of my home had carpeting, she asked to go outside so that she could hear her “click shoes” while she walked up and down the driveway. I enjoyed her smiling face and the steps she took in order to hear the clicks on the concrete. During a rainy day we went to the basement where we played school. Jess’s role as teacher meant dressing the part including her favorite footwear. Although the tile floor didn’t have the same noise quality as outside, I was still entertained with dramatized clatter.
While Jess and her brother were growing up, many family vacations were enjoyed in the great outdoors. Camping and hiking were repeated fun trips for all. These adventures needed different footwear for everyone, so hiking boots were added to each person’s inventory. Our National Parks and the Appalachian Trail lured the family to discover selected walking locations across the country. Their boots also covered many miles while enjoying the outdoors in the great state of Alaska. Sturdy footwear was necessary for exploring, hiking and sliding on glaciers.
As my granddaughter grew older and went through footwear trends, her teens and college favorites were the high-heeled “peep toes” that gave a classy look and feel to getting dressed up. These were the popular and exaggerated open toe, dressy shoes many girls wore for date night. Jessica’s preference was a pair of black patent leather with four inch heels. They added maturity to her stature and revealed that yes, she had grown up. When she got married, I teased her at the reception when she took off her uncomfortable wedding shoes and changed into a soft pair of slippers. A flashback had me visualizing a little girl who admitted no pain while she was determined to clomp up and down the driveway with a smile and her two feet in a grown-up dream. I had to dab at the grandma tears that were sliding down my cheeks.
Jessica’s degree in Nursing has dictated that appropriate footwear is a must for her present job. She kisses her husband and three daughters when she leaves for her evening shift. Dedicated to her profession, she walks silently in her shoes that specialize in comfort, flexibility and speed while proudly helping those in her care. During quiet moments, Jess might reminisce about her family, life’s journeys or favorite stories she can share with her daughters. I’m sure they’ll hear about the variety of footwear that walked through years of her life. No doubt she’ll tell them about the familiar and marvelous “clicks” of her treasured childhood memories. It’s a wonderful possibility that her girls have inherited the “shoe gene” and the amazing cycle of “click shoes” will continue. And, as for me, I’m sure of one thing. I’ll be listening.
I'm a retired Sun Newspaper typist. I've been writing freelance articles for the past twenty five years. Some of them are personal experiences having to do with my family of eight children and a total of twenty grandchildren. They keep me busy with a variety of subject matter.