I bought them before he was even born.
As the feet forming inside of me kicked and fluttered, growing stronger every day, I dreamed of the boots that would one day cover them.
They were the simple work boots that I had come to associate with his father; the sturdy stretch of leather, the solid grip of a rugged sole, the unassuming color that wouldn’t fade in the sun or lose its luster from a little dirt.
Image via the author
How many afternoons had I watched my husband work in his own boots, making our house a home, plowing up the garden where we would enjoy endless summer sweet corn, adding yet another swing to the swing set as our family grew? How many nights had I tripped over his dusty boots, silently cursing the solemn pair left by the door, forlorn and forgotten?
And yet, now, all I can hope for is for my son to follow in his footsteps.
To be the type of man who protects.
Who knows the value of good, clean, honest work.
Who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
Whose arms can carry a load of lumber and yet hold a newborn with the most tender of touches.
A man who can inspire a future generation, instill hope into a child’s heart, and love a woman through stretch marks and sleepless nights.
Because those shoes that sit in my son’s closet, waiting to be worn someday long after his mama is done kissing his chubby baby toes, are so much more than simple adornment for his feet.
They are my hope for him.
And a silent wish that for him to grow up to be the kind of man who can fill the big shoes that have come before him.