Tuesday 06 Dec 2016

A Pair of Sneakers
AJ Robinson

The second bathroom in our house was always our daughter's; my wife and I used the one in the back. Now that our daughter is off at college, the second bath has essentially become the guest bathroom. The other day, while I was sitting, while I was in there, I noticed a pair of my daughter's sneakers sitting off in the corner. My first instinct was to toss them in her closet.

She was never one for putting her footwear away! In her "Glory Days," we could easily expect to see at least two pairs of her shoes in every room of the house.

Yet, I decided to leave them. After all, they were out of the way; where was the harm?

The sneakers look a bit dusty now, and I think one of them has a cobweb in it. Occasionally, I make a point of going in there; I can always find a reason to do so. There's the trash to take out, towels to straighten, toilet paper to re-stock and the roll, to hang properly. After all, you need to position the roll such that the paper comes off over the top! I mean, come on, that's just common sense; no one would dare place it so that the paper hung down in the back.

That's just wrong!

I digress; back to the sneakers. Sometimes, I sit there - I mean, stand there, look at them and remember.

I remember buying baby booties before she was born. My wife and I got a whole bunch of shoes, sneakers, sandals of various infant sizes. We figured starting with a zero made sense, as newborns have such tiny feet.

We were in for a surprise.

Our daughter was a smidge over 7 pounds, 7 ounces and just under twenty-one inches, at birth. She wasn't big or not very long, but decent numbers and a healthy baby. Yet, there was one feature she had that seemed a bit, excessive.

She had rather big feet!

We got her home, and found that we couldn't put any of the teeny-tiny footwear on her; it seemed she had inherited my "Big Feet Gene." We were a bit disappointed; some of those little shoes were so cute. We videotaped her with our new camcorder, in close-up, and studied her little fingers and toes, her eyes, the bruise on her forehead, as she had a tough birth, her small nose and those big feet of hers. For a baby, her feet weren't that big, but for a newborn, they were downright huge. Of all the babies among our friends and family, she was the only one not to wear a size zero shoe.

We slipped on the size two infant shoes, and she quickly outgrew them.

Over the years, she moved on to bigger infant shoes, then the children sizes and, all too soon, the full women's shoes. Along the way, there were basketball sneakers, bowling shoes, foot casts when her heels fractured, and some very fancy shoes when she was a bridesmaid and when she went to the prom. When we packed up the van to take her off to college, one box filled with nothing but shoes; it seemed college life called for quite a few pairs.

Yet, it seemed this one old pair of sneakers remained. I guess she no longer needed them. I guess she moved on to other footwear. I think I'll leave them there in the corner; they tend to bring back pleasant memories.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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