The other weekend, one of the most recent ones where we had been blessed with the warmth of the sun, I was sitting barefoot on the front stoop, side by side with my eldest grandson Tyler.
My toes were delighted to be free of the winter imprisonment of heavy socks, boots and shoes, and I sat there pressing them against the warmth already gathering on the surface of the cement steps.
A good day my mind and toes agreed—a very good day!
And then it happened. It was so unexpected, and it really shouldn’t have been.
“Nana,” Tyler said. “What happened to your toe? It doesn’t look…right.”
And so it has begun I thought. I have come full circle. Me, who used to gasp in astonishment and muted horror at my own Grandmother’s toes—has become the old fart on the receiving end. My Grandmother, who was fondly known amongst family members as Big Ruby—this due not to her immense size, but rather in honour of her large capacity for cruelty—had, there’s no other way to put it, awful, awful feet!
For a period of time it was my job to clip the nails on those aforementioned feet. I truly believe there in lies the moment when I began my love-hate relationship with feet. But seriously, have you ever noticed that along with the oddly shaped appendages they sprout, feet also have the tendency to cultivate hair growth. Hereditary perhaps?
Mental note to self: don’t let the grand kidlings read my blog. There’s enough to worry about when you are learning to manoeuvre through the growing up years, without the added baggage of twisted genes donated by family.
I stared down at my feet. The toe in question, a baby toe, had run into problems through the years, and after an operation, its size had been brutally cut in half. In moments of fondness, I call it my spud toe, the rest of the time I just call it ugly. And don’t get me started on my big toes, let’s just not go there.
Don’t worry oh innocent grandson with the Harry Potter glasses, I thought as I joined Tyler in the activity of staring at my happy, but slightly maligned toes. I promise you will never be asked to clip or comb my feet. It’s the least I can do.