Last week, I was intrigued by Arianna Huffington’s Instagram post about the #FlatShoeEnthusiast movement, where she was celebrating women who wore shoes based on their mood, not social norms.
It was in stark contrast to another recent news story, where airlines were forcing female staff to wear lipstick, high heels, and no body hair.
The report comes after Norwegian Air dropped a controversial policy that required female cabin crew to wear heels at all times when outside the aircraft cabin unless they carried a doctor’s note.
This made me think of my own life. How had I been treating myself lately?
Several months ago, I was at a formal outdoor graduation event. The adults were in a tented pavilion, while the kids were playing NBA2k in the club house or enjoying their time at the basketball court outdoors.
I kept leaving the formal pavilion area to check on our kids, who seemed to be having a lot more fun than I was. After the third visit to the kids’ area, I sat down on a bench and took off my 3 inch heels, if just for a moment. Ah, glorious relief. I was trying to figure out how long I could go without putting my heels back on, because anyone who has suffered through this knows that the pain is 10 times worse putting heels back on once you have already taken them off.
My son must have noticed my theatrics over at the bench, because he came up to me and said “Mommy, just be you. Just stay here and play.”
Then he took off his bright yellow Kyrie basketball shoes, and handed them over to me.
“Here, take them,” he said.
I don’t know what it’s like to be stranded on a desert island and then rescued, but I imagine the feeling is similar to that of putting on my son’s shoes, which made me feel like I had been somehow saved.
I feel like I am after chasing after some elusive piece of wisdom, digging high and low through philosophy books, motivational talks, and research. But sometimes the wisdom you seek is right in front of you, coming out of the mouth of a child who will be asleep in the back seat of the car on the way home, before you even get a chance to thank him.