Once upon a time, the shoe on the left looked like the shoe on the right. And then in just over two years (!) the shoe lived a full life. The shoe became "the main shoe" in the summer of 2012. It walked the beach a lot. Like a lot, a lot. It traveled for a few weddings. It took more than a few trips to Trader Joe's and the farmer's market. It enjoyed a pretty routine shoe life until an October trip to Target to buy a pregnancy test and then an excited trip to the doctor's office to confirm there was indeed baby on board.
The shoe was pretty much the only shoe that mattered during that pregnancy. It was easy to put on, broken in perfectly and so comfortable. It walked and walked and walked. It looked at the sky. It went house hunting. It was there to drop Paul off for a second deployment in just 11 months and learned the meaning of "covered in tears." It walked into the new house for the very first time. It packed up the townhouse in Oxnard. It signed the escrow paperwork and moved into the house in San Diego.
Things happened really quickly after that. There was a gestational diabetes diagnosis (which the shoe was pretty thrilled about because it equaled more walks after meals). There was a rush to get the house ready for baby (again, thrilling because it equaled more walks through Lowe's and various thrift shops). Months passed in minutes but also somehow took years.
The shoe went to the airport to pick up Paul and waited with the same combination of nerves, disbelief and excitment it always feels. Quickly, the shoe noticed the walks pick up. There was job to do now, we had to get this labor started. But nothing happened. So a week post due-date, the shoe + family of two walked into the hospital to be induced.
Four days later, the shoe + family of three walked out. Healthy, exhausted and swollen as can be (the shoe had never worked harder in it's life).
And so began another crazy time. When nothing felt easy, the shoe was grateful it could be a simple constant (and relearned the meaning of "covered in tears slash all the liquids ever"). After a few months things settled down and the one thing everyone looked forward to was the long walk up the hill to the grocery store every afternoon. For the very first time the shoe spent enough time outdoors to cause a real life sandal tan (which, as you know, is the greatest achievement a shoe can hope for).
When the fitbit arrived, the shoe cheered. More walking for sure. And the shoe was right, the steps increased, the movement increased and simultaneously, the brain calmed and the house relaxed - just in time for the baby to start walking and the shoe to start chasing. Life was good. So good, in fact, that retirement came early. The shoe wore down quickly over it's short two year life. It was a good run though, a worthy run. The most remarkable shoe life yet.
And now the shoe on the right will take over. It feels (for the first time) impossible to predict what this shoe will see. Walks, obviously. But outside of that, what? We're at that point. That point where life is settled but we've never done any of it before. We've never raised a 15 month old. We've never had a third person who lives in our house that can hold a conversation. We've never dealt with these exact challenges or celebrated these exact milestones. It's all the same, and it's all new.
Just like the shoe.