‘Because I Said So’ column for The Commercial Appeal
Nov. 10, 2014
Even in our high-tech world, kids still lose their shoes
How is it that, in 2014, my daughter still can’t find her shoes? With all of the technology in GPS and with all of those satellites circling the Earth, shouldn’t I be able to tap my phone and find out where she might have left them last night?
They’re not in the living room. They’re not in the bathroom. They may be in her bedroom, but I can’t even see the floor in there.
And how, after eight years as a person with feet, does she still manage to lose her shoes so often? They aren’t toys or anything nonessential. They’re shoes. She has to have them to go to school, the store, a friend’s house, outside in the cold.
Is forgetfulness an inherited trait? I went to a Catholic school with a strict uniform code, and one day, in second grade, I couldn’t find my Catholic shoes. I walked into class with grimy, secular sneakers on my feet and an apologetic note from my mother in hand. I can still feel that teacher looking down her nose at me with obvious disappointment.
I’m not looking down my nose at my daughter. These things happen. But I am rolling my eyes at her, and sighing loudly, and I’m anxiously checking my watch for the time as the school’s tardy bell approaches.
There should at least be a procedure in place for such an emergency. As it is, when she can’t find her shoes, the plan is for her to say, “I can’t find my shoes,” and then immediately sit down and become preoccupied with something else.
Could we get an app for this? I need to be able to speak clearly into my phone — maybe not to Siri, but perhaps to Nike: “She can’t find her shoes. Again.” A beep would sound, a beacon of some sort from beneath the sofa, at the top of a closet or outside by the trampoline, alerting me to their location.
My kids lose things. All kids lose things. They lose their shoes, they lose their minds, they lose their way.
I have a directionally impaired family, to put it mildly. My oldest has a car now, and while he can almost always find his shoes, finding his house has become another matter. I’ve tried to teach him that, in Memphis, the Mississippi River is always to the west, and the names of the streets that run from it to the east. He needs that lost shoe app so he can speak into his dashboard: “I can’t find my house. Again.”
I strive to help my kids find their way, whether it’s the quickest way from Point A to Point B, or where it is they might have dropped their shoes (which have to be here someplace). It’s our job as parents to set them on the right path. We give them directions throughout the years, yet when it comes time, we can only hope they can find their own way and that, when they begin on that journey, they’re wearing shoes.