How is it you only had two sets of "real" shoes? I'm not counting the infant faux-shoes we bought when you were just a few months old. Or the socks with little rubber traction nubs. I'm even leaving out your cool slipper booties, even though I loved those little things. But, real shoes made for walking? Two.
Last September Dadda and I bought you a pair of Robeez tennis shoes while we were on vacation. It was time to get you used to having something on your feet, especially since we thought you might start walking "any day." OK, so we were wrong about that! Those little Robeez were adorable - navy and orange, with flexible soles. You wore the heck out of the toes since you were still a super active crawler for the next two months and those poor Robeez weren't designed for that type of abuse!
Later last fall Grandma and Grandpa took you to Laurie's Shoes to buy your first pair of true tennis shoes - some sweet navy and white Stride Rites with velcro closures instead of laces. Oh, how I loved those shoes, and the story behind your visit to the shoe store. You bolted straight for the big kid in-store slide, and ZOOM! went right down before anyone could stop you. Grandma and Grandpa's panic turned into peals of laughter instantly. I'm so glad you created that memory with and for them.
You finally became a strong, no-nonesense walker around 15-months (December), so your Stride Rite tennies didn't get too much wear and tear. Those shoes bring a smile to my face, and tears to my eyes. So small, so sturdy. Just like you.
I sat outside a Laurie's Shoe store located in Chesterfield Mall for a while this weekend. I was drawn to that area by a little boy who resembled you, Peanut. He was running through the mall in some little sandals, dad in tow. They darted into Laurie's, and walked out a few minutes later with some brand new, navy tennis shoes on his feet. He was walking now - not running - and stepping with such pride and purpose. At that precise moment, I realized we would never buy you another pair of shoes. And, it broke my heart.
Peanut, I miss seeing your purposeful little penguin walk, made so deliberate by those shoes. I wish we'd gotten the chance to see you run in those shoes. And kick a ball. More than anything, I wish we had gotten the chance to buy you another pair of shoes.
Missing you so very much, it makes we wonder how my heart continues to beat. Tonight, I am sending you my love, my hugs, my kisses...my lost hopes and dreams...and all your favorite bedtime stories. To the moon and back, sweet Peanut.