These Feet Will Walk Away – A Mama’s Mini Memoir
His feet are adorable.
I sit here beside my sleeping teenager who is slowly coming out of anesthesia. With an IV in his hand, warm blankets on his lap and cute one-size-fits-all footies on his size 12 feet, I can’t stop looking at him. He just had a procedure that will hopefully give us answers to some health issues he’s been struggling with for almost a year. I worry about his health sometimes, but today I’m content just watching my boy and adoring his feet.
So cute in those blue hospital booties. Wasn’t it just a few days ago that I put little Gap socks on his tiny newborn feet? They were baby blue, and they matched the little blue teddy bear shirt that he wore home from the hospital that August morning in 2001.
Those feet have taken him a lot of places since that day.
They’ve launched his body off the living room furniture onto piles of pillows and slid down the stairs in cardboard boxes. They’ve climbed trees and pumped bike pedals. They’ve sprinted the spray-painted bases on the cul-de-sac kickball diamond. They’ve pushed the gas pedal on the van for the first time as my feet slammed down on the imaginary brake on the passenger side. They’ve timidly stepped into my hospital room, needing to know I was okay after the cancer was removed from my body. They’ve worn holes through the toes of tennis shoes as they chased a bouncing yellow ball around the court. They’ve walked into the flower shop to buy roses for a girl.
Born into an adventurous family, those feet have also left prints on a lot of rugged ground. They’ve hiked miles and miles of the Superior Hiking Trail. They’ve climbed in the mountains of Colorado. They’ve stood on the roof of a house they helped build in Haiti. They’ve run across Cocoa Beach and into the Atlantic Ocean. They’ve jumped off of Cliffs into Baptism River.
And now here they are in front of me. In a hospital recovery room. Looking adorable in blue paper booties.
Has it really been 18 years since this six-footer was a tiny babe in a different hospital? New to the world. New to me. Our adventure just beginning. I remember how I thought about all the years we had ahead of us. Years that would certainly not move as swiftly as more seasoned moms assured me they would. I knew these feet would stay little for longer than a minute or two.
But they didn’t. They grew and grew and settled themselves into dozens of pairs of new shoes over the course of 18 years. And this boy that a part of me longed to keep little forever, has grown into a confident independent young man. Not long from now those precious feet will move somewhere new and start a life away from mine. It’s what is supposed to happen. It’s what we’ve been working toward since day one, and I’m so proud of the man my boy is becoming. But that doesn’t mean my heart isn’t breaking.
His eyes are fluttering open now.
He doesn’t really even know where he is. Anesthesia does weird things to a person. He will soon be fully awake and those feet will walk out of here beside mine. He will heal and go back to work and out to movies with his girlfriend and start his senior year of high school. He will not need me much, as it should be.
But right now in his grogginess, he’s my little boy in a green hospital gown and blue booties. In this moment those feet are at rest and he does need me.
So I will set down my pen and savor every single second in this little room. I will etch those feet in my mind, and tuck them deep in my heart for safe keeping because our moments together like this are a treasure soon to be a memory. And I never want to forget.
Lord, thank you for a childhood of years with the boy who belongs to those blue-bootied feet. Please grant me the strength to let them walk way. Amen.