The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

09 August 2014

The expressiveness of feet

Little Five has very telling feet. They are barometers of how he is feeling, how intensely he is thinking, and - if he likes his food - how much he likes his food.  Littleness is gradually fading from him. Childish ways of speaking are easing into big boy awareness, and the squishable plumpness of wee ones is disappearing into length of limb and broad straightness of shoulder. But his feet remain as wiggly and expressive as ever.

When he sits with a book (or sits on you while you read him a book) his toes take turns laying on top of each other in a slowly waving ballet, like seaweed in the current. If he eats something particularly pleasing to him, the feet move faster, often taking lower legs with them as they swing and kick and the toes flex.  It seems that his feet must be always in motion, whether taking his body at high speed all over his world, or moving in time with his thoughts as he ‘sits quietly’ in a chair.

It was a sad milestone when he grew out of little socks. Now even his shoes look like smaller versions of the ones worn by his bothers – the shapelessness of wee children’s shoes is gone. What is it about a child’s foot that makes us feel tender, even protective?  How is it that ten little toes can be so expressive? Isn’t it remarkable that a foot can evoke vulnerability and sturdiness all at the same time?
Like the purr of a cat, his feet are a comfort because they offer reassurance of his contentment. All is right with his world and his feet tell us so.
(CKTS: Foot edition:
When he is barefoot, he says, "I am in my feet" like we'd say, "I'm in my shoes".  It makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  Once he discovered the fluff between his toes is called toe jam, he took to a regular cleaning regimen and calls it "jamming my toes".  )

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