"One Day Without Shoes is the day we spread awareness about the impact a simple pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. On April 8th, we ask people to go the day, part of the day or even just a few minutes, barefoot, to experience a life without shoes first-hand, and inspire others at the same time." TOMS Shoes
Okay. So, you’re right. Going barefoot, for me, is relatively easy. All I do is stay at home with my kid, right? Sure.
So, in the spirit of increasing my awareness—that is the reason why we’re all doing this, right?—I challenged myself. I made myself walk, barefooted, to the nearby park.
It really wasn’t all too bad. The most difficult part of the entire experience was being on the receiving end of a lot of eye-darts. As I sit here and reflect on it, I can't decide if they were throwing eye darts at me for A) the fact that I was barefooted—in public or B) the fact that my kid was barefooted—in public or C) both A and B.
It doesn’t really matter. June and I had a blast. The cement on the sidewalk was kind of hot, so we walked in the grass. (Awareness #1: kids who don’t have shoes & live in under-developed areas often don’t have nice, cool grass to walk in as an alternative.)
I can’t remember the last time I walked barefooted in the grass! Seriously. I miss out on this simple pleasure every summer because I am still mentally scarred from an experience I had while in high school—don’t ask. Just know that it involves a worm. Living in my foot. From having walked around barefoot in the grass.
(Awareness #2: kids who don’t have shoes get worms and infections ALL THE TIME.)
So we get to the park and we have a blast, as usual. I notice (after I’ve gotten over noticing all the eye-darts) all the different textures under my feet: cement, grass, dry leaves, fresh leaves, pebbles, wood chips, rubber playground platform thingy and the differences in temperature of all of the above textures due to their heat absorbency factor (I dunno, I think I may have just created a new scientific term). The best part is that I know that if I noticed all those things on my bare feet, then June did too and that—that—my friends, is priceless. This is what our world is all about. Discovery. Nature’s own classroom. Today’s lesson? Sensing through your feet!
EAT THAT, HOITY-TOITY NEIGHBORHOOD LADY MAMAS!
Yea. You heard me. My kid is going to do so much better than your kid on the “Guess What This Is, Using Only Your Feet” Test.
(Awareness #3: kids who don’t have shoes may not have access to clean water to cleanse their bare feet after a long hard day of walking barefoot.)