April 7, 2010

goin’ barefoot & being a mom

Tomorrow is April 8 and I would like for you all to do one simple thing. Go barefoot for the day.
One Day Without Shoes is an event hosted by Toms Shoes (if you don’t know about these…check them out here, love them!) On April 8, thousands are going barefoot to spread awareness of the impact that a pair of shoes can have on a child's life. And Toms donates a pair of shoes for every shoe sold to a child in need. One for one…how amazing is that?!

Well a few weeks ago i was browsing some regular blogs…I came across this. Tammi Nowack is a local, amazing photographer who wanted people to get involved. It got my wheels turning and I decided to host my own event for MJ’s pre-K class. I’m always trying to get it through to mj & molly (and eventually mills) how there are people out there less fortunate and we should give as much as we can. Only problem - it’s really hard for kids this age to wrap their precious little minds around. SO in come One Day Without Shoes – I thought, perfect! I think this is something the kids can get! April 8 just so happens to be during our spring break, so i planned to go talk to the kids a week early on april 1st.

So that’s the barefoot part – on to being a mom. I try, many days, I fail..but i do try to be a mom and a good one. There are many days where we are all in tears, frustration has boiled over, i’ve cleaned up so much poop i feel like it has sunk into my skin, and i can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then, there are days like this…. when I take the extra step to teach my kids something and it works. it works…she listened, she got it. it worked. Here it is -

Taking all the wonderful knowledge i had from ondaywithoutshoes.com, i set off to talk to a group of barefoot 4 & 5 year olds about giving to others. They seemed to listen, they definitely had fun telling me why we need shoes, and 3 times – i asked the question..”so why are you barefoot today?” and really, they couldn’t tell me – they knew it was fun, they had some funny answers, but none were the answers I was looking for (which was - “to help us remember that some kids don’t have shoes and how we should give what we can to help those less fortunate”) yes – a mouthful for a 4 year old, but i had hope. So for days after I asked MJ – and she still just blurted out “it was fun! or so ants won’t bite us!” but not the answer i was looking for.

And then there was the moment when she got it (or at least the moment she revealed to me she got it). The night before Easter, my sister & her husband were in town, eating with us and mj told her aunt Kathryn that they were barefoot at school! I said – can you tell her why? Expecting the answers i got in class and on the following days after the event. But instead she said – “because, you know, some children don’t have shoes and we should help and give them some".

she got it! I’ve never been prouder (of her) and i just hope it sunk in with her friends and that eventually they came to the same conclusion. I especially have high hopes for the little girl that offered to take the shoes off her feet to donate. And she even knew what donate meant “sounds kinda like doughnut but it’s not..it’s donate and it’s when you give something.” That girl is going somewhere.

So… since you are grown and reading this…take your shoes off and let it sink in. Thank you Tammi for getting me going and thank you Toms for providing the opportunity.


  1. i love this! i am so proud of and impressed by your effort! and i am soooo proud that Mary James GOT IT! xxxxxxxxxx

  2. Wow, Kristen! What a great thing you did! MJ is a smartie. And, I love that little girl that said "donate" sounds like "doughnut" - funny.

  3. Yay!
    That's the kind of things that make a mama proud! :) So glad that you did this and that your daughter "got it". Small seeds, small seeds. :)

    How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

  4. Kristen...you are so awesome. Thanks for bring this to our (and those precious kiddos) awareness...barefoot as I type!


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