Lisa Prejean: Sneaking up on sneakers

October 16, 2009|By LISA PREJEAN

"Where are my shoes? These are not my shoes. These are slippers.

Where are my shoes? These are not my shoes. These are snow boots.

Where are my shoes? Here are my shoes!

I am glad I found my shoes. I love my shoes."

Our family has often repeated those lines from a childhood storybook. Each time someone forgets where they placed their shoes, someone else will start in with "Where are my shoes?"

Family bonding is one of the benefits of reading to children at an early age. There is something that happens between parent and child when the same books are read over and over again.


Vocal expressions linger. Sentiments remain. Memories last.

Family bonds formed early are important when the stress of daily living threatens to tear us apart.

Or, just when life's little frustrations seem to slow us down.

And so it was in our household on a recent morning.

When I came downstairs and started loading the van for school, my 14-year-old seemed a little frustrated.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Mom, I can only find one shoe. I know I put both of them in the coat closet when I took them off last night."

At this point, most parents would probably smile and start looking through the house. Sometimes our kids think they've done something, and they haven't.

Could the sneakers be under the table? In the garage? No, this is a child who has a place for everything and puts everything in its place.

The possibilities started running through my mind. Could one of my children's friends who were visiting the day before accidentally put the sneaker in their gym bag?

No, my son said he wore the sneakers after the friends left.

Then a very real likelihood surfaced. My husband left for work in the dark. He needed to go in early so he could get off early to coach a soccer game. He would change clothes and shoes after work.

Could he have grabbed one of his sneakers and one of our son's sneakers?

No, he wouldn't have done that, would he? It just didn't seem likely. My husband's sneakers are gray. Our son's sneakers are white. My husband's sneakers are size 10. Our son - at the moment - wears a size 13.

I called my husband, who was already on a job site in Hancock, to see if he had the missing sneaker with him.

"I don't know if I have the sneaker," he calmly replied.

"Well, could you check?" I asked, trying my best to be patient.

"I would if I could, but my pickup truck is in Clear Spring, and I'm in Hancock. I drove the company truck up here."

Then he thought of something.

"See if one of my gray sneakers is in the closet."

Sure enough. There it was without a mate.

There was a strong possibility that my hunch was correct. The problem? I needed to get to work and didn't have time to pick up the missing shoe.

"Can you wear your old sneakers?" I asked my son.

"They're a little tight, Mom," he said with a grimace.

It's hard to keep teenagers - especially boys - in shoes. Their feet are growing so fast.

So we used our backup plan. I called my mom to see if she could swing by the truck and bring the shoes to school.

Thankfully, she was available to do so.

And she didn't even remind her son-in-law to check the sneakers in the light next time.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at .

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