I've been wearing Chuck Taylors (and now their Oxfam substitutes) for well over a decade (and using the word decade is making me feel just a tiny bit old). My first pair were a lush, emerald green, bought in Melbourne with my dear friend Ttina, and through the years I've bought them bright. I wear a lot of black and grey as a thin - well, largely transparent - veneer of sophistication and taste, but I let my garish preferences explode on my feet. My favourite shoes were a happy purple. Their time in their limelight was truncated when one night they fell victim to my then puppy Jasper and, chewed at the heel, they became gardening shoes. Chucks aren't made for such harsh treatment and they soon faded and flopped and were relegated to the garage, where they slept unloved until Al found them as he cleaned the garage in yet another of our attempts to control our life through controlling our stuff.
Looking at those shoes made me happy. They were the last pair I bought before the kids reshaped the ways I saw myself, and our mortgage and one income status put limits on my spending. Today, getting ready for a walk after another morning of a screaming baby, I pulled them in an attempt to feel girlish again. And, despite their sad state, they almost almost worked.
As my friend and I walked our dogs by the river we talked over the same issues we discuss every week: the limits of motherhood and its possibilities; the erosion of a sense of self and the development of a new identity; how great sleep is; why is it so hard to live on one wage? The talk was no big deal - these are my topics of conversation with all my close friends - but it was just kind of weird to be saying these things wearing these shoes from my very different past. I had no idea, when I bought these purple shoes, that not too many years later, this is where I'd be: down by the river, on an autumn day, missing my girls after just an hour of their absence.
Plus, Jasper, he's not so fat!
Eating from the garden: eggs, parsley and chives, just like yesterday; and tonight, more Chinese greens in a tofu and lychee stir fry.