A shoe is a strange thing to write about, but stranger things have been written about. I once wrote a poem about a lonely sock. That one was a tad sad. This one, though, has a happy ending.
I lost a shoe. It belonged to my one-year-old. It was new. I just got it 2 days back. It was a dark navy blue that matched with most outfits. The front had a little orangeish pink tongue painted on it. One of the two straps had tiny mischievous eyes on it. It gave the shoe an appearance of a little friendly monster. The shoe also had red blinking lights that were activated when stepped on. So it burst into dancing disco lights when my boy climbed up and down the stairs. He looked quite adorable in them. I took him to the park that afternoon. I had just mended the Bob stroller and wanted to take a run. So I packed him in with a water bottle – the one with fishes drawn on it and jogged to the park.
He was overjoyed going there after so many days. He ran around, sat on the swing. He made friends with another little boy there and they sat on a park bench pretending to have tea and biscuits. We mothers sat too and pretended to be part of the tea party. He then sat on the rocking zebra and turtle. He played in the sand and pulled at the music bar poles. Then he and the other little boy crawled through a tunnel back and forth as we mothers waited at either side cheering them on. Then when it was time to go he threw a fit and refused to sit in his stroller. I promised him “duckies” and determinedly strapped him in. I made a small detour and walked with him by the pond with “duckies” and then went over the small bridge in the park to make my exit from the other side. From there on I jogged back home stopping only for the traffic lights. My son struggled for a bit and then slipped into his afternoon nap. I peeked to see him sleeping soundly and breathed a sigh of relief. If I reached home soon I would put up my legs on the couch and enjoy a book, a movie and maybe some dessert until he woke up. I quickened my pace a bit. I reached home and pushed the stroller through the back door so I could keep him on the shaded patio while I sat inside and could keep an eye on him.
As I was getting ready to open the sliding doors and make my way in I noticed that only one of his feet had a shoe on. The other shoe was nowhere to be found. An unkind word escaped from my mouth. I forgave myself for it since my son was asleep and couldn’t hear me. At first, I was disappointed. What a waste of well-earned dollars. Then I brushed off my irritation and told myself I still had a chance to find it if I walked back. But who knows where the shoe had dropped off. It could be in the park where he had struggled before sitting in the stroller. It could be near the pond with the duckies. It could be on the little bridge. It could be anywhere along the roads where I had jogged back home. It would cost me my afternoon treat but I decided to walk back and try to find the shoe. I tempered my hope with realism and told myself it was probably a lost cause, but I had to try. It was a cute shoe after-all.
I walked back trying to remember the same route trying to stay on the same side of the road as I walked before. I pressed the buttons for the walk signals and kept alert trying to spot something small and something blue lying forlorn somewhere on the roads. A few streets later as I was bracing myself to walk back all the way to the park and back, I noticed something perched neatly on the fence post in front of someone’s home. A grey concrete column stood bravely displaying its prize catch for the day – a blue shoe size 5. I broke into a smile. I looked around and didn’t see anyone. I said a mental thank you to the stranger who had found the shoe and had so graciously displayed it in plain eyesight for whoever it was who would come looking for it. My hero of Woodhams road – bless his or her soul! I lost a shoe …and then I found it.