Reader, Reader, What Do You See? I see a white shoe worn by Mi!
Since we are the Age of AUTISM.... This is my daughter Mia. She is 26 years old. Shoes are our Waterloo. She has some foot issues and is very particular about both clothing colors and shoe choices. During the day, she enjoys wearing blue jeans (long, cropped and maybe shorts if I push it) and a pink sweatshirt. Solid. No designs. Magenta or neon pink. In Summer, I can usually encourage her to wear a short sleeve shirt. It takes some coaxing. Her choice for lounging and sleeping is black yoga pants and a solid black T shirt. I stopped trying to add colors and patterns years ago. Pink and black make Mia happy. I want Mia to be happy. she has so little control in her life - this is one area where she asserts herself. If she were a flight attendant she would have a uniform to wear every day, so what's the difference? I can sneak in a slightly different shade of pink, or even a sweater, instead of sweatshirt. She's open to that.
But shoes are another story.
She wears a black slip on waterproof shoe from September through May. Come June, I have to try to switch her to new, lighter weight shoes. Usually it's a sandal with velcro straps. But I really wanted to see if she'd wear a lightweight sneaker. Tying is an issue, and I want her to be independent when dressing. I splurge on shoes, I do not skimp. I buy clothes at WalMart and Goodwill to save a buck. But shoes? Nope. Her Aetrex slips ons cost $180! I scoured Marshalls and TJ Maxx for a possible sneaker, and found a pair of Sketchers. And she's wearing them!!! White sneakers! For us, this is huge.
How did I do it, you ask? I hid her black shoes. Yup. Took then out of her room and left only the white sneakers and a pair of new pink sandals in her closet. She whined. She complained. "No white shoes! Black shoes!" I felt like the worst mother in the world, as I do often, and certainly at every shoe change season.
Finally, she put them on. I waited. She did not kick them off right away. A good sign. She stood up. A great sign. She went into the family room and sat down with her row of Kindles and the shoes stayed on!
Yesterday morning, she put them on with a minor fuss. Tomorrow will be easier. And so, we will build our routine. And I will order as many pair as I can online to save so we can continue to wear them next summer too.
I wonder, who will buy Mia shoes, and help her make the switch when I am gone. Do I need to write shoe instructions into my will? These are the small victories we celebrate. And the huge worries that keep us up at night.
Reader, reader, what do you see? I see white shoes worn by Mi.