Saturday, July 24, 2010

Children can teach us so much about freedom

I was watching my daughter today, playing on the front yard with some neighbor friends, all of who had taken their shoes off and were running around the sprinkler, screaming with joy.

When I was a little girl, I never had a chance to run around barefoot or play outside without shoes. Since those days, I had never been able to walk around in the grass, at the park or in my own backyard without wearing shoes. I have to be honest, there’s a part of me that has always been jealous at the sight of my 8 year-old daughter pulling off her shoes and socks whenever she can. When she was about 9 months old, she’d take her shoes off and throw one (and only one!) out the car window if it was open. She has always loved to wriggle and wiggle her toes and she delights in walking barefoot in the sand, on the grass or simply enjoys the feeling of dirt under her feet.

There’s such relaxing pleasure on walking around barefoot, isn’t there? It’s free, portable and easy to do. My daughter insisted the other night that we go out on the deck and paint our toenails. Grass is not the only thing my feet seem to reject: any hard surface is fair game.

I tried to explain to her how I wasn’t used to walking outside without shoes and how it really made me feel weird. I couldn’t help but laugh when she said to me, dead-serious: “Mom feeling weird is your choice, you know?

Well, you’ll be happy to know that I am no longer the “feet-too-tender” mom: I went outside with her and slowly started to enjoy the freedom of walking barefoot. I made the decision to not feel weird and to have a different experience thanks to the example of my own child. I am going to need time to feel totally comfortable: it’s definitely a work in progress!!

Without shoes now as I write this, I have to admit I don’t see the world quite in the same way. I recognize that as silly as it sounds, I am enjoying this new found adventure with my daughter, enjoying the world of sensory freedom she has invited me to explore with her every day!

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