When my children were little, I was obsessed
with their feet! I loved the way their toes used to wiggle with
pleasure as they fed from me. How the soles of their little flat
feet would be so soft like some beautiful, smooth fabric, and
then, suddenly, the creases and crinkles appearing in their flesh
as each little foot curled in response to my touch.
I loved the shape of their toes, the seemingly
independent motion of each toe as it wiggled and flexed, moving
through space as if in search of something. They reminded me of
wee tentacles undulating and waving under a calm sea by moonlight.
Then there were those teeny tiny little nails
growing according to their own shape and pattern -- not to any
specifications of some pedicurist or "beautician."
These tiny feet -- so perfectly formed, so innocent
of dust and mud and foot odours!
I remember distinctly that morning, moments after
I gave birth to our daughter. She had been well-overdue and took
some delivering, but oh, the joy on seeing those curious eyes
considering me for the very first time. As I gazed over her newborn
body, still sticky from her tumultuous journey out of the womb,
I found her little feet. They were cyanosed; they'd been deprived
of oxygen for some time, so they had that slightly bloated and
white-bluish look about them.
They also looked as if she'd been bathing for
a very long time and her fingers and toes had taken on that swollen,
wrinkled raisin look that one gets from being in the water too
long. Oh, but how I fell in love with my little girl in those
first precious moments! How I relished the divine proportions
of her body and how it had survived this most miraculous arrival!
How I longed to have such beautiful feet!
Those little toes, even 11 years on, are never
still. They're much grubbier now and I'm much less inclined to
kiss or touch them at every opportunity. They are growing into
Big People feet! Feet that have experience of life, feet that
have potential still wrapped into the creases and curves of those
size-three soles! Big feet that have bumps and calluses and get
splinters and stubbed toes, with nails that won't grow according
to any pedicurist's specifications -- no matter how much they
are cut or filed into submission! Feet with bruises and cracked
heels and icky stuff in the hanging corner of one nail! Feet that
can be ugly, so unbelievably ugly!
These poor feet! Once they were soft as fine-spun
silk, cute and kissable. But now they've travelled more miles,
carried more weight, and suffered more torture than any other
part of my body!
Our daughter's feet will be the same one day,
I suppose. Worn and weary feet that give her "trouble"
in her old age. Toes that won't sit straight, nails that are hardened
from time and wear. She will look at her feet and either love
them as they are or shudder at their ugliness.
While I peer malevolently at my own aching feet,
I shall forever love my children's feet! Despite all the dirt
and all the places they've been, I shall treasure the miracle
of their birth! I shall celebrate each journey of growth and discovery
my children's feet take their owners! But above all, I know I
shall never forget those tiny, beautiful and perfectly formed
toes, waving and wiggling with contentment and pleasure as I snuggled
with my babes in the wee small hours of many a morning!
as Mitch to her friends, Michelle has been writing since
childhood. She has a passion and love for the English language
and used to read the dictionary in Primary School "just
for fun," much to the dismay of her classmates. Her
first poem, entitled "The Snail," was written
at the age of six and is yet to be published. These days,
she mainly writes skits and short plays for church groups
and has had many of these published online and in print.
Aussie from Horsham in Victoria, Michelle has been married
to Greg for 13 years. They have two children, ages 10 and
8, plus a short, furry child, namely a cat called Billy,
aged 4. Greg is a pastry cook by trade and together they
own and operate a take-out food business in Horsham. email@example.com