How lovely it must have been to walk in your shoes on that very first day of nursery not so long ago.
How grown up and proud you must have felt as those shiny new shoes carried you through the gates and into your classroom. I remember you smiling as you waved me goodbye and disappeared behind the door as you placed down your book bag.
Your sturdy black dinosaur shoes supported you that day, holding your not-so tiny feet as they found their way through unfamiliar corridors, they guided you around a playground, over the painted floor games and helped you climb on to the balance beams.
They steadied your pace when you went too fast, they protected your toes when you stumbled.
Your shoes behaved well when it was carpet time, they watched as you learned to cross your legs and fold your arms when you practiced good sitting. They picked you up when it was time to go to forest school and walked you to your next class.
Sometimes, your shoes got lost, but they always found their way back to you. Every day since that first day of wear, your shoes have walked you through our town and into your school, every afternoon they’ve walked you home back to me. They’ve been with you every day since last September and not once have they let you down.
But, you know? I wish I could have walked a day in your shoes. I wish I could have been there to retrace the steps I missed while you were busy at school with your teachers and friends. I wish I could have practiced your good sitting with you and been there when you played hopscotch.
Because to have walked a day in your shoes would have been one more part of a day that I got to see you grow. One more hour that I got to see you smile, to play and to learn. Extra time that I would have had to see you transform in to the wonderful, cheeky bright boy you are today.
So this is for your shoes, Charlie. A thank you from us to them, for always being there to help you leave footprints of love in everyone’s heart. Even when I’m not there to help you…
And here’s hoping your next new shoes are just as strong and supportive as your last. Because this year? You’re going to school. This year, I’ll miss you even more…