About 17 months ago Rian and I were fortunate enough to snag two passes to the Nike employee store. We were eager to pick up some new sneakers. We each got two pairs. I remember telling Rian that I felt silly buying two pairs of shoes when I only needed one. He then reminded me that we don’t get this opportunity often- so we should take advantage and stock up. “Besides,” he said, “you’ll want those sneakers when we have kids and you are chasing them all around.”
So I took those lovely purple, black and white Nikes and stored them in their little orange box above my closet.
But the thing is…they stayed there for much longer than we’d hoped. In the beginning I was too proud to take them off the shelf. I wore my gray Nikes all around town. And the more adventures they went on, the more tattered they were appearing. Rian would remind me of my new shoes, but I would say things like “oh the gray ones are fine” or “these ones are already broken in and much more comfortable.” But the truth was that the longer those shoes stayed on the shelf, the more they had become a symbol of my failed attempts at motherhood.
So I started moving them around. Sometimes I’d pretend like they weren’t there. Sometimes I would open up the box, take in that new shoe smell and admire the pretty white laces- not yet touched. Other times I would look at that little orange box spitefully and throw a shirt over it to block any signs of its existence. And sometimes I’d walk past my closet, look up at that box and everything it represented…and I’d cry.
Then we found out that I needed surgery. And I have never hated an orange box more.
Everything was a bit of a blur from then on. It was almost like I began to truly forget about the new shoes. That is, until the most unexpected but MOST glorious of gifts arrived in the form of two pink lines on a stick.
In the midst of the happy screams, joyous laughs and genuine shock, I walked over to my closet and pulled down that orange box. I slid off the lid as if I was opening it for the first time. Inside was a pair of perfectly tidy, clean and completely untouched shoes. I inhaled the leather and the smell of all things new. And I cried. I cried like I’ve never cried before.
And now I am looking forward to the next big adventure in our lives- with new shoes ready to take me wherever I need to go.
Baby Schlyper is due September 29, 2013.
"Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark." Jesus Calling