Summer has hit the East Coast, and with it freedom for my children's toes! This is the time of year when shoes could potentially gather dust sitting on the shoe rack, when we get to the grocery store and realize that I have 4 little ones; none with shoes on.
This is the time of year when texture becomes invitation and little feet delight in cool lake water, delicious warm mud, tickling grass, hot sand, and even prickly playground bark.
The time of year when my son exclaims, "Mom, I can run faster when I am barefoot!"
This summer we are washed with gratitude because for many summers we were not so fortunate to appreciate the textures, the life, and the excitement that comes with it all. I was a shoe-clad woman and so were my children. The question, "Mom, can we go outside?" was always followed by, "Yes, just put your shoes on first!" This was their summer for many years.
Two summers ago, we found freedom for our feet. No more hot, stinky, confinements for their little toes. No more worrying about the rocks they could step on, or the slivers, or the bee stings. Freedom to let go completely and embrace this season (as it is so short) and relish in all the textures that nature has to offer.
Now, summer shoes are reserved for necessity. Often, when we are heading out, I meet my kids at the van, handing them each a pair of their minimalist shoes while they pile in. They strap them on in the van on the way to wherever it is we are going that requires shoes.
Our bare feet have become our fashion statement, and my children are happier. Yes, they do get the slivers, yes they do get the bee stings, yes they stub their toes, and yes we deal with all of their foot injuries with thankfulness. We understand that we have just learned a little more, that our bodies have become a little stronger, and that our feet cherish the freedom to indulge in the beauty of summer.
What are your kid's favorite summer textures; how are your child's feet indulging this summer? I would love to hear from you and your family.