That was some, er, feet
By Terri S. Vanech
There’s an old saw that says you should walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but you couldn’t have gotten very far in mine today.
I took a quick break in the middle of the day to swing by the high school and drop off Catherine’s Epi-Pen and inhaler. She tagged along, eager to peek at the freshmen there for orientation and see what else might be going on in advance of tomorrow’s First Day of School.
We were quite a way down the sidewalk that runs along the front of the school, chatting about this and that, when I looked down and saw this:
I will never know how I managed to leave the house this way, drive all the way across town and walk a good distance before noticing.
I’d been wondering why my gait felt so funny!
And although I immediately burst into wave after wave of giggles and guffaws, Catherine was mortified.
It seems I am the most embarrassing mother on the planet.
She actually asked me to go barefoot rather than risk someone seeing her mother unevenly shod. She offered to give me her flip-flops and go barefoot herself.
I assured her no one would notice, but I confess it took several minutes before I could compose myself enough to speak to others. Tears ran down my face. My sides ached. I realize this called more attention than the mismatched shoes ever could.
“Look,” I said, “the nurse’s office is right by the front door. We don’t have to go far, and no one will be looking at my feet.”
“I can’t believe you DID this mom,” she said.
Like I purposely wanted to try one flip-flop and one slip-on sandal at the same time.
(Truthfully, the whole scenario gave me more than a bit of pause. Am I losing my mind after all not to notice these two different shoes? Do I need a spa vacation or trip to the sanitarium?)
We arrived as the freshmen were passing to another class in their shortened day. Catherine ducked her head and all but used both hands to push me toward the main office.
There, I thought I could safely hand the meds through the nurse’s window, but alas, I was invited inside to sit a spell while they checked the forms and expiration dates, asked about Catherine’s summer, etc.
I fervently tried to tuck my feet beneath the chair, but that didn’t solve the fact that I had to walk IN and OUT of the office. Catherine is convinced the three nurses had a good laugh as soon as we shut the door. (I’m happy to spread joy whenever I can.)
Of course, I was thinking “blog” the whole time; a former journalist knows a good story, after all. So when we got outside, I stopped to snap the above picture.
I thought Catherine might have apoplexy.
“MOMMMMM!” she hissed. “You couldn’t wait to do that?!”
And then she marched toward the car, keeping me several yards behind her, and acted like she didn’t know me.
I don’t understand why.
I’m Terri S. Vanech, wife, mother, reunited adoptee, and former longtime journalist now working as a communications specialist, and Jazzercise instructor. Pushing on a Rope is my attempt to make sense of all the craziness life has to offer. Here in midlife, I’m finally learning to live out loud. I hope you’ll share the journey with me