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When the shoe fits

Living

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT  Frankie proving that a woman’s obsession with shoes can start with her very first pair.  

Diary of a first time dad

Edwin McGreal

One of the great benefits of Frankie being the youngest cousin, on both sides, is we rarely need to buy anything for her.
Her older cousins have been very generous, passing on their clothes once they get too big for them.
And it is just as well. Frankie is growing so fast that she might only get one or two wears out of some clothes.
The next job was her first pair of shoes. She is walking since November – her first steps taken on her first birthday, no less – but it took us a while to get around to trying shoes.
Weather was not practical for having her outside but Frankie kept eyeing up the step at the front door, looking out at the big world outside and wondering when she would be able to join in and not merely be lifted from the house to the car.
So we decided the time had come. And while she had any amount of shoes gifted to her by her cousins, her first pair of shoes had to be extra special.
It was a big moment, and we treated it as such so off we went to Castlebar to buy her first pair.
When I was the same age, my mother brought me into Hynes Shoes, where Colm Hynes and Ted McCarthy, sorted me out with my first pair.
Now Vaughan Shoes, it was great to return to the same shop to buy Frankie her first pair. But Frankie was not as eager as her dad was.
She started roaring crying when the first pair was put on her. I guess you would too if all you ever wore for the first 16 months of your life were socks and what you think are strange-looking clamp-like devices are now being wrapped around your toes.
But we found a more suitable pair, and soon Frankie got used to the feel of them and was walking around the shop as if she was on horseback, with these wide strides, delighted with herself.
They were a nice pair of Clarks, and Frankie has them well mastered by now.
Baby shoes do not come cheap, considering they grow out of them so quickly, but the moment was well-marked with a cute ‘my first shoes box’, containing a lovely verse.

This is the box that carried home your very first pair of shoes.
The shoes that took care of your soft, squidgy feet.
The feet that took those wobbly first steps.
These are the shoes that will remind me of how cute you were then.
And how proud I am of you today.
These are the shoes I will keep forever.

Even if she will have grown out of them by the time you read this.

In his fortnightly column, first-time-father Edwin McGreal  charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.