I Love You Heart and Sole

Your shoes don’t last long and neither does my cash. Lucky my love does.

Jeepers, creepers, what’d you do to those sneakers? I love you dearly but can you please refrain from chewing your shoes! There is food in the cupboard.

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It’s just two months since we invested in your last brand name runners. I use the term ‘invested’ because we spend as much money on sneakers in a year as we do on tyres for the car. I’m not so inclined now to go dashing out and purchasing the same style. Maybe we should buy two pairs of the cheapy ones and then we can just ditch them without a care.

I guess that’s kind of like opting for retreads on the car or would that be hand-me-down shoes? Either way, I’m not happy. The department store shoes are basically a thin insole with corrugated cardboard underneath. Within days you have no cushioning left to speak of and it’s certainly doing your gait and posture no good at all. Just like tyres on the car, would I put your safety at risk?

In the end we opt for a family owned shoe store rather than a big chain sports store. They gave us a membership card and the price was then comparable with the larger stores that buy in bulk. The main plus was advice. I learned that scooting and skating eats shoes. We choose a pair with a medium density sole. Enough cushioning for running but no so soft that the asphalt will erase the tread. The best thing about them in your eyes is not the colour or comfort, it’s demonstrating how much faster they make you run. You love them so much you ask in all seriousness if you can wear them to bed.

You are reminded now to don your scarred and battered pair to go skate, scoot, ride or dig in the garden. Newies are reserved for school and going out. This might be the only thing that contributes to a longer life span but the exercise was well worthwhile.

‘Off you go then, Speed Racer. Don’t drag your feet! I love yooooooou.’

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I Love You at Soccer Practice

I love watching you at Thursday afternoon soccer practice.

We’ve just broken the land speed record to get here straight from school but now I get to sit and relax for a bit while you do your stuff.

Your eyes are on the coach the moment he blows the whistle. Your ears are ready to listen to instructions. Your feet can’t keep still in anticipation of kicking the first goal. You can almost taste victory. And this is just practice!

First comes the warm up and your competitiveness is evident right from the get-go. You want to ‘win’ just doing laps of the field. Next in the ritual is stretching. Your serious face makes me laugh as does your version of push ups and sit ups. Drills complete the pre-game action. I watch you pass, dribble and take shots at the goal with such concentration.

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Finally it’s the business end of the session, your favourite part. You and the other boys are broken into two teams. I know you need to learn about team work but not much team playing happens during the game. Your main aim seems to be to get the ball and kick a goal. There’s sometimes tears if your team doesn’t win and pure excitement if you do. I can’t wait until you actually play a proper match against another team.

The passion and determination you show for this sport at such a tender age is admirable. I love watching you at soccer practice.