One day I went to visit my friend Janet. While we were visiting, the mail arrived which included a package. Janet’s 4 year old daughter, Hillary, was very interested in what was in the package. Janet and I played with Hillary’s imagination by asking her what she thought it might be and she replied “new shoes”. I don’t remember what the contents turned out to be but what I do remember is that Hillary wanted to keep closing the package up, have us ask her what could be inside and the reply was always the same “new shoes”. Janet and I were cracking up with laughter. Even the thought that ‘shoes’ would be the item Hillary would pick every time just brought smiles all round.
I thought of that day many times when Jess was little. She too had a fascination with shoes. Her favorites were the pairs of sneakers that I would buy her. Her first pair was white, then I got her a pair of blue and finally a pair of red. Each pair was a bit bigger as she outgrew them. I dared not get rid of the too small pairs as these shoes became one of her favorite toys. She would turn them over and over in her hands and laugh. One day she brought a shoe up to her mouth. I jokingly shouted to her “don’t eat your shoe!” which caused her to go into such a belly laugh that when she brought the shoe up to her mouth again, I did the same thing. This became one of her favorite games with me and if I wasn't watching, she would “aga” me to get my attention so that I could shout the phrase “don’t eat your shoe!” again.
She started to ‘eat’ other things just to hear me shout out: “don’t eat your pillow!” “don’t eat your sock!” “don’t eat your book!” Always prompting her to laugh like there was no tomorrow. Did I tell you how much I love to hear her laugh?