Monday, December 8, 2008
I just received this charming two-year-old pair of feet in my inbox.
Don’t they talk to you? I see them fidget. They squirm. They stop and pull at the elastic bands. Pretty soon these feet walk up to mom, tug at her sleeve, point down and say “Mo…om”. The right leg is sore and stiff as the gold anklet lodges in the back between the shoe and skin, chafing the folds and burning a red welt.
In a few minutes, a little after they hear dad say “cheese”, the shoes go flying, one dropping inside a magazine rack, the other screeching to a halt by the fireplace, landing face down. Toes jump free from their black cage. Feet puff and fill out again. They mow through the carpet until bedtime. They pummel a rag-doll, squish a grape, kick a juice carton around the coffee table and trample a Sony remote. Larry King and his suspenders flash on to a screen, taking the feet by surprise. Shrieking with fear, they dash to mom in the kitchen and take cover behind her legs. The ratty old man can’t get us now, can he?
Sixteen years from now, these feet will peek at other feet, size up the pumps and wonder why someone would wear something that’s “SO NOT with the times and so 2000s.” They’ll scrape the floor at a college-prep place for an exam that has replaced what used to be called the SAT. They’ll drag and swagger around the bed when the same voice floats from the kitchen day after day: “Stop dragging your heels. Did you or did you not do the bed yet?”
If they’re lucky, these pretty twosomes will get a foot in the door of a good college where they’ll write a paper on how the country got back on its feet in 2009 just as President Obama was sworn into office. When they go for their first job interview, we’ll just hope they don’t get cold feet and, most of all, that they can think on their feet at all times. And we’ll pray that they don’t play footsie with the wrong kind. Who wants feet of clay?