Bunny has always, for as long as I can recall, had some sensory issues regarding her feet. Shoes are often too tight or too loose or too narrow or something is poking her from somewhere.
And socks….OH socks….
Seams and screams.
Socks with seams reduced her to tears, “seamless” socks were too thick and made her shoes feel too tight.
People without kids maybe think it sounds bratty. I get it. As a person who has two kids with minor sensory issues, I can tell you that it often feels that way. But it’s not. It doesn’t make sense when you can’t feel it yourself, but it truly feels torturous for them. I try to remember that while the screaming and ripping off of shoes and socks as we exit the front door with only four minutes to get to school makes me want to explode.
I know because I spent years of my childhood feeling like anything that touched my neck was choking me. I still remember the feeling and it was horrible. I would pull at the neckline and make gasping sounds. My mom, though she rolled her eyes a bit, was pretty patient. And my aunt made me some jersey dresses that were soft and had a low neckline. I wore them until they were shirts.
The situation has improved as Bunny has gotten older. We have discovered some socks that are adequate and she has discovered ways to deal with discomfort that don’t involve throwing herself on the floor and howling.
Last month I had to buy Bunny some tights for a choir concert and there was a Buy One Get One Free deal. The selection was narrow. I chose some frilly bobby socks. As I bought them I thought, “This is the dumbest purchase I have ever made. Even free, this purchase is dumb.”
I didn’t figure she’d ever wear them. And she didn’t for a month. But today is field day and she had to wear sneakers and sneakers require socks and the adequate socks are in the laundry. So Bunny pulled out the frilly socks.
When she slipped the first one on, I swear, a choir of angels began to sing.
“OH!!!!! These socks!!!!! They feel so GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!”
I stopped what I was doing and stared at her with my mouth hanging open. She had one sock on and she was holding her foot in her hands.
“I can’t stop touching them. They’re SOOOO SOFT!”
My mind began to spin. How quickly could I get back to the utopian wonderland of socks that is Payless Shoe Source and purchase all remaining frilly bobby socks in sizes 2 through Turns-18-Moves Out-And Purchases-Own-Damn-Socks?
Outwardly, I maintained my cool. This could all be momentary. She could stand up and a seam could bump her toe and that could be the ballgame.
As we walked out the door, Bunny turned to me and said, “You know how your shoe kinda slides up and down a little when you walk?”
“Well, in these socks, it feels like a foot massage…from someone with silk hands.”
Now I want some of those socks.
Walking down the stairs, Bunny said “What in the WORLD are these made of?!?!”
“Ummmmm…silk…kitten fur…butterfly wings…unicorn breath.”
“I really think it IS silk.”
“Yeah….probably…or a polyester/lycra blend.”
I feel noticeably lighter today. My heart feels fuller. Because my daughter is at school in socks that feel like a silk massage and if they suddenly start feeling weird and she rips them off and puts on the sandals I shoved into her backpack just in case, I will be none the wiser.
I fully recognize how dorky that is.
I totally don’t care.
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