Hers didn’t match.
In fact, one shoe wasn’t even hers. One belonged to Gabby’s friend. The girls decided that they would have a little fun and wear two different shoes. Funny I never thought of that before. I am pretty good at coming up with weird, unusual ideas. Then I began noticing something else. Something more than footwear.
Emma has a drawer full of socks. When she gets them out, they match but don’t. One might have a bird on it and the other with a frog and the same background. Or maybe the critter matches but the background is different. It is a bit mysterious this ‘unmatched match-up.’
And again, I find myself looking around. Not just those of my grands, but those of other kids. Shoestrings mismatched. Tights not matching the shirt. Shorts conflicting with a sweater. My mind was swirling with possibilities I had missed.
We are getting ready to go out tonight. I have a new, shorter haircut that is an interesting challenge. I want one side to match the other. No matter how hard I try, one side turns to the back and the other to the front. Now, I ask myself (which I do often), why do they need to match. Why can’t I just have fun and do it my way. I was raised that everything needed to match. I always felt that I needed to look like everyone else. And we all did! None of us knew that we did not need to follow the same old path. We could dare to be different and if no one liked it, that was their problem. But we never thought of it. Hm.
It isn’t just about clothing. Nor is it about matching other people. It is truly about finding yourself. Maybe finding a new self every day. It is about having a voice and not being afraid to be different.
Seeing yourself in new ways, finding new ideas, doing things for yourself you have never tried before, are all possibilities we missed long ago.
Yes, I found out something that day I saw two different shoes. I found that my granddaughter was not the copy of her mother or grandma or any of her friends. She dared to be different and own it. Now that is pretty awesome. Makes me wish I were a kid again.
So tonight we are going out. My hair is a combination of all the genes that are on my DNA chain. Maybe one side of my family looked forward and the other looked back. I seem to be the result of my past and the enlightenment of the future. Now I can wear all my mismatched socks that have lost their partner. Ah, shoes of a different color.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.