Saturday, May 26, 2012

First steps... treasured forever

When it comes to my kids, I'm a pretty sentimental person. I take way more photos than I should, I keep a journal of all the funny little things they do that make me laugh - and sometimes I keep bits and pieces of their history that make absolutely no sense.

I know lots of people who have kept their babies' first shoes as a keepsake. My daughter had a pair of those gorgeous snowy white shoes as a baby, but I didn't have any real connection to them so I gave them away.

The shoes I have a real connection to, the ones I couldn't bear to give/throw away, are the ones they wore aged one - the shoes they learned to walk in.

Everytime I look at those scuffed little remnants of their babyhood, I see first steps followed by smiles, congratulations and clapping. I remember all the trips and falls followed by snuggles in my arms as I kissed their tears away. I see those funny little baby dances they used to do - stamping their little feet proudly in time to the music or just at random, sometimes with frustration but mostly with happiness. I remember them running toward me (or away from me) filled with smiles and giggles. Those shoes are sometimes 'just' clutter in my wardrobe, but usually among my most favourite artefacts of motherhood. I knew I could never let them go.

So... today, I framed them.

Note: She dressed herself today - she was so proud to have found clothes that apparently match!

I framed all those precious memories, encase forever in tired, worn, scuffed shoes.

I sewed cardboard to their soles so I wouldn't have to hot glue the shoes directly to the frame.
I know it's unlikely I'll need to, but I wanted to make sure I could rescue those little shoes
intact, if the need arises.

When I started the project, I realised that I'd bought a framed print rather than an empty frame, so it was lucky I'm handy - I took that frame apart with a screwdriver and then put it back together with hammer and nails. My oldest son was amazed at how quick I am with a hammer - something I learned from growing up with a carpenter for a father!

Look at how much those little feet have grown in only a few years. The third pair of little feet were busy running out of the frame! They say your kids grow up in the blink of an eye, and they're not wrong, I can't believe seven years have passed since I set up that little cot in the spare room.

3M to the rescue, I didn't even have to annoy my husband with asking for a nail in the wall - a complete DIY project that I'm glad to be finished.

Now I have a little keepsake on my wall, to look at every time I put on my shoes at my back door. And I don't have to feel guilty for hoarding such silly things as dirty old shoes ;)

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