Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tippy Toe-ing through Life

From the time she was able to walk, my daughter has been on "tip-toe" as she prances around our house. Is she destined to be a ballerina? Possibly. But, it is more likely that this is an inherited trait from someone very dear to me whom she will never know.
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My grandmother had what we all affectionately called, "Barbie feet." Years of wearing high-heels and wedges and a love of the arched foot look, morphed my grandmother's feet into a perfect replica of Barbie's static "tip toes." And, she liked her "Barbie feet" and pampered them with bright red toenail polish to show them off proudly.

Then, there was the time that her Barbie feet let her down. My Aunt had planned a week-long trip to Europe with her husband and my grandmother, and my grandmother was thrilled. I remember shopping for her "travel" clothes. I can even remember the difficulty she had when she shopped for tennis shoes to wear on the trip. She knew the trip would require a lot of walking and her heels were not going to help her scale the steps of an old cathedral or hit every floor of an art museum.

So, we shopped and shopped, looking for a pair of sneakers that met her criteria style-wise, but also had somewhat of a thick sole so that her feet could fit comfortably in them. She bought a cute pair of canvas shoes just sure that they fit the bill.

The next week, about three days into their Europe trip, my mother got an urgent call from my aunt. It seems my grandmother was not going to be able to continue the trip and needed to come home. Her beloved "Barbie feet" were actually causing her great pain. After years of training her foot to have the high arched stance, and years of wearing at least an inch heel in every shoe she wore (even her slippers had a heel!), she had actually SHORTENED her calf muscle and now had a horrible case of tendonitis from walking in flatter shoes around the streets of London. My aunt had to bring her to the airport in a wheel chair and she actually had weeks of recovery time for the inflamed Achilles muscles to settle down.

In a proud display of her fierce stubborn streak, she went right back to wearing those heels again too. And, she never attempted a trip to Europe again either!

When I see my daughter walking around all "tippy toe," it makes me smile. My grandmother passed away a month before her great-granddaughter greeted the world. Somehow I like to think she's passed down some things to her anyway. Things that would make her smile today. Tip toed and determined, my daughter will one day rule the world with her "Barbie feet." I just know it...


Anonymous reese said...

Awww, that is so sweet. She'd definitely make the perfect ballerina!

12:00 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Babaloo said...

Cute story! Poor grandma in Europe, though. Sounds painful. Your daughter sounds adorable. :-)

7:01 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Ditto on the cute story. You made me smile!

9:28 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

I think one of the greatest things of parenting is seeing what unexpected "family heirloom" pops up in our children. :)

7:52 AM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

What a sweet story. :)

12:55 PM, September 15, 2006  
Blogger Barbara said...

Your poor grandma, she should have worn heels to Europe. How lovely your daughter reminds you of her.

10:27 PM, September 15, 2006  
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8:38 PM, September 18, 2006  

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