• Traveling Shoes

    When my son was about a year and a half, we moved into a cute downtown apartment. At the time we lived in Germany and the second story place was above a bank. We also had upstairs neighbors. We were the only foreigners in the building but everyone was very nice to us.

    After a week or two, I decided to take the kid to the park, but I couldn’t find one of his shoes. Is not like he was Imelda Marco’s son. He only had that one pair of shoes. I looked everywhere, ended up cleaning under places I had never dreamed of cleaning until then. Nothing.

    When my husband came home he found the whole story funny, we went out and bought a new pair of shoes thinking sooner or later the lost shoe would show up. It didn’t.

    Another couple of weeks went by and the same thing happened, one shoe went missing. I tore the place apart, even began to suspects the neighbors of foul play. How you ask? I didn’t know, but since I don’t believe in ghosts it was either the neighbors or it was my fault. Hey, I was young…This time the husband wasn’t very amused but still, we bought another pair of shoes for the kid. Sure we asked our son where the shoe was and all we got back was big eyes and even bigger kisses…The disappearing shoes were now impacting our monthly budget.

    One sunny afternoon I was out on the balcony watering my lonely geranium and my son was playing with some plastic truck he rolled around. The balcony was enclosed by a solid wall taller than him so he was free to play there. While I admired my solitary blooming plant, I noticed the child sitting on the ground and after some huffing and puffing he managed to remove one shoe. Ah. I kept very quiet and observed. He picked up the shoe and walked to the corner of the balcony. Squatted down, and with great determination proceeded to push the shoe through the small opening designed to let the rain runoff. I was stunned, speechless, but not for long. As I looked over the edge of the wall to see where the shoe landed, the automobile parked in front of the bank began to back off with the shoe on its roof. I started to wave and scream in Italian. The driver waved back and disappeared down the main road. Goodbye shoe.

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