This piece came out last Friday and I’m sharing it just now, on Monday. I have been encouraged by comments on the essay regarding the parenting choices we’ve made and also challenged to not worry so much about what other people think, or what I think they are thinking. I’ve also gotten helpful feedback on how to handle some of these situations in which jet lag and culture shock trump my ability to think clearly. Sometimes being a writer makes me feel like I am walking around in that dream where you find yourself in high school and you forgot to put on your pants (anyone else have that one?) I mean, it feels incredibly vulnerable. But then in these kinds of comments I remember one of the reasons I love doing it – for the community, the exhortation, the sharing of experiences and wisdom that I get to hear from others.
What does my parenting have to do with shoes or Africa? This December I had a split second to decide between defending a parenting choice or defending an entire continent because of how I slipped up and said something I wanted to take back. Ever do that? Yeah, I hardly ever do.
This is the state of Henry’s shoes when we arrived in Minnesota in December. The essay is about this pair of shoes and shoes in Africa and how it can be too easy to blame some parenting choices I make that I might have made differently in retrospect, on living in the developing world.
Click here to read Am I a Bad Mother or Has Africa Run Out of Shoes?