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When The Shoe's on the Other Foot... Literally

As our 'just under OSHA's safe hearing limits' subway hummed to a stop, I felt a gentle nudge at my left side.  Turning to find a kind but concerned looking fellow passenger, I raised my eyebrows quizzically.  She pointed at the kids.  "Ah," I thought, "she's about to comment on how awesome the kids are!"  It was the obvious answer, but why did she look so concerned?

She leaned in conspiratorially. "Their shoes might be on the wrong feet," she whispered.

"Hunh, would you look at that?  Cool!  Thanks!"  I replied with a big grin.  Off the train went roaring through the tunnels of San Francisco again.

At the next station, the train doors slid open letting the bright platform lights flood in.  I felt another nudge.  This time my fellow passenger leaned back in contemplation, staring at the kids' shoes.  For fun, I leaned back with her.  We studied the footwear in question in some detail.  She nodded her head, then leaned back in to whisper, "No, no, their shoes are definitely on the wrong feet." The doors on the train slid back shut.

I gave my best conspiratorial yet contemplative nod.  It felt kind of like being in a spy movie.  I whispered back, "I think your right.  No, no, you are right.  They're definitely on the wrong feet."

Our station was next, so I happily shouted "Next station is ours!" alerting my gang of three that they needed to jump up and run out of the train the next time the doors opened.

We all piled out of the train, and onto the platform where I hollered, "Hard left!" to direct the kids to the escalator we were headed up next.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could just make out our well-meaning fellow rider, still gazing forlornly at the kids' shoes.  Her face, pressed close to the glass of the train's window, was a palette of concern and confusion.  Why, oh why hadn't their shoes been changed back?

Here's why:

  1. 'Cause it's so easy!  The kids dress themselves.  Woohoo!  I focus on getting me ready!
  2. It makes the kids happy!  Yes, I've told them which shoes go where.  They don't care. 
  3. And finally, we meet so many interesting people this way!  Who would I talk to on the train otherwise?  Well, probably everyone, but that's beside the point :)

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