Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shoes...not every girl's best friend

Most women love shoes. Until Lil Bug joined the family, I had no issues with shoes. Now, I despise shoes.

When Lil Bug was a baby I was able to put some "regular" shoes on her. She didn't get orthotics (braces) until she was about 9 months old. That is when it got crazy.

Until she was almost 2 years old, we could find now ordinary shoes to fit over her braces. The braces add so much bulk that her feet are just too thick for shoes. The hospital that she gets her braces from ordered her a pair of tennis shoes made especially for braces and she wore them for a while. They aren't ugly, but they certainly aren't cute. They were bulky.

One day, while my best friend was visiting, we went to the mall. I was determined to find some shoes that were cute to buy for Lil Bug. We looked in all of the shoe stores. By the end of our experience I was overwhelmed and frustrated. I couldn't find one pair that would work. My friend, in her innocence, simply said, "you'll find something eventually" (or something like that) and I lost it. I started getting teary eyed and my face got red. I just want my daughter to be normal like everyone elses kids...why should the everyday ordinary, like buying shoes, be so difficult for us? It wasn't fair! I felt like we could overcome so many of the big issues and then the small ones sort of just smacked me in the face. Kind of a cruel, "ha! she will always be a little different." It hurt. My friend felt bad for saying anything and I felt bad for my reaction.

Not long after that I decided to try again and found that at Stride Rite, the insides come out easily, so I was able to try them on at the store. After working diligently with the lady at the Stride Rite store, we were able to find ONE pair (that's right folks, we tried on over 10 pair) that Lil Bug's braces fit into. Here's the kicker...we bought them and then 2 weeks later she was fitted for new braces, so they didn't fit anymore! Fortunately she hadn't worn them outside, so we went back and exchanged and the new ones worked for her new braces. So, $50 later, we have a pair of shoes for Lil Bug.

So, you can see that shoe shopping is one of the last things I like to do with Lil Bug. I always imagined my little girl with all sorts of cute shoes for all sorts of cute outfits, but she is forced to wear pink/white tennis shoes with jeans, skirts, shorts, dresses and everything in between. They almost never match, but she has shoes!

At Christmas I just couldn't accept the idea of her wearing those little shoes with her beautiful Christmas dress, so I went to a specialty shoe store (Mieras') in town (just learned about them a week before) and found out that they will help to make shoes custom fit orthotics (braces). I found a cute little pair of patent leather Mary Janes and then they customized them to make the strap long enough to go over her braces. They were so cute. She wore them only with her Christmas dress and to one wedding this summer. I sure hope they fit over her newest pair of braces for this Christmas season.

A couple of days ago I received a notice in the mail saying that Mieras' was having a tent sale with up to 75% off their shoes. It began yesterday. I took Lil Bug last night, half hopeful that I would find something, anything that would fit over her braces (or close, so they could customize). I didn't want to get my hopes up. I have never been able to walk into a store and find anything easily. So, we walk into the tent and straight to the children's shoes and guess what?!?!?! We found not one, but two pairs of shoes for Lil Bug on our first go through. I was ecstatic! No customization even needed...NONE! And here is the kicker...they were on super sale, so each pair of shoes was only $9.90...for a grand total of about $20.00.

Thank you God, for making this my first shoe shopping experience with no tears shed.


BlessedWithDaughters said...

Hey, thank you. This was a great reminder for me not to take the supposedly "little things" for granted. I always complain because Girly's feet are so narrow that it's hard to fit her. My so-called problem is really not a problem at all. But not just that...this makes me consider all of the different things that you, and other people with life experiences similar to yours, have to handle that I almost never give a second thought. Makes me feel ashamed of the petty complaints I sometimes make.


Anonymous said...

Yayyyy.. See God is good. 2 pair of shoes that fit little bug for 20 dollars. Thats amazing = ) HUgs Hugs Hugss and lots of love to the both of ya.

Anita said...

Awesome on the shoes--TWO PAIR!

SJ said...

Yay for new shoes!! :)