Back to school...need new shoes! I'm always incredibly embarassed to take the kids in for new school shoes. This year was no different. It seems that their feet grow a full 2 or 3 sizes over the summer, leaving me feel like a real cad forcing my kids to wear too-tight shoes. Truth is, most of the summer they don't wear any. So, with coupons in hand, and stores advertising their "buy one get one half-price event" I loaded the 6 oldest into the van and headed for the mall. Halfway there I wondered if the kids put on clean socks, or heaven forbid, washed their feet. That question was easily answered later when we piled out of the van, and I spot one of the girls in grundgey flip-flops, Sam wearing his holey sneakers, and Emma wearing tennies without socks at all. As little John peeled off his shoes, sand actually fell out onto the floor. Great. Oh well, we forge on. In the shoe store, I can sense the fear in the saleswoman's eye as she asked "How many need measured today?"
"All of them," I answer, smiling and trying to be optimistic. We start an assembly line of removing shoes, putting on socks (turns out some of them thought to bring clean socks along, just didn't want to wear them), filling out stickers with their size written on them, and then sending each one in the direction of their size. I have to admit, this lady was the best I've ever seen...she must have had a large family herself, cause she handled the pressure well. And I love the idea of writing the shoe size on a sticker pressed firmly on their shirt. When fitting six kids at a time, the actual size verses the 1/2 size up you want to purchase all start to blur...Sam measures 3, needs a 3 1/2, Emma 1 1/2, needs a 2, Alice 2 1/2 needs, a 3, and on and on. The stickers were genious!!! Everyone found a shoe they liked, that fit well in no time at all. They quietly tried them on, helped their little sibs, and after making a final decision, took their little boxes and sat along the wall waiting for the others. It was the kind of peaceful organization that makes my heart sing. It was poetry in motion. Ahhh, God is good. I made my purchases, cashed in my coupons, and each of the kids carried their little bag out of the store like a line of ducks following mama. Now if only we would have stopped there. My brilliant idea to take this show further into the mall backfired in a major way. But I'm grateful for the few beautiful moments while they lasted.
Now wait till I bring in the other 4 next week. I can only hope things go half as smooth.