While toddler Malachi searched for balls to bounce, Adia stood before me, pigtails perfectly placed on either side of her head, her brightly colored slicker sprinkled with rain, and offered the card that she had made just for me.
After a hug and a kiss, I stepped back and caught a glimpse of her little sparkly black shoes and noted, as I had many times before, that she had put them on the wrong feet.
I have long considered this to be one of the great mysteries of the universe (ask my kids, I'm not exaggerating.) After raising five boys and two girls, being Gramma to four grandsons and two granddaughters, and laying eyes on too many young children out in the greater world to count, I can say with certainty that more than 50% of the time, kids will put their shoes on the wrong feet and be happy to wear them like that the live-long day.
Why? I mean, why? If it were an even 50/50 split, I could understand, but it isn't. And given all the lame-brained things that people waste time and money trying to figure out, why hasn't someone done a study on this gender-neutral, race-neutral, income-neutral shoe phenomenon?
Well, as of this morning, I finally know the answer. I saw it clearly as my granddaughter stood before me, her wrongly placed shoes turning her toes outward, her feet forming a perfect little heart. Now, I no longer need a study to tell me what compels our little ones to wear their shoes as they do until we succeed in changing them.
The truth is, our kids will make every day Valentine's Day if we let them, cause from the top of their heads to the tip of their toes, they're all about the love.
Confession - As I write this, I'm wearing my shoes on the wrong feet.