Reader, Reader, What Do You See?
Reader, reader, what do you see? I see a white shoe that is worn by Mi!
Since we are in the age of AUTISM …. This is my daughter Mia. She is 26 years old. Shoes are our waterloo. She has some foot problems and is very picky about clothing colors and shoe choices. During the day she likes to wear blue jeans (long, cropped, and maybe shorts when I press it) and a pink sweatshirt. Solid. No drafts. Magenta or neon pink. During the summer, I can usually encourage her to wear a short-sleeved shirt. It takes some persuasion. Her choice for lounging and sleeping is black yoga pants and a plain black t-shirt. I stopped adding colors and patterns years ago. Pink and black make Mia happy. I want Mia to be happy. she has so little control over her life – this is one area in which she asserts herself. If she were a flight attendant, she would wear a uniform every day, so what’s the difference? I can wear a slightly different shade of pink or even a sweater instead of a sweatshirt. She is open to that.
But shoes are a different story.
From September to May she wears black, waterproof slippers. In June I have to try to switch them to new, lighter shoes. Usually it’s a velcro sandal. But I really wanted to see if she was wearing a light sneaker. Binding is a problem, and I want her to be independent when it comes to getting dressed. I show off my shoes, I don’t save. I buy clothes from WalMart and Goodwill to save money. But shoes? No Your Aetrex slip-ons are $ 180! I searched Marshalls and TJ Maxx for a possible sneaker and found a pair of Sketchers. And she wears it !!! White sneakers! It’s huge for us.
How did I do that, you ask? I hid her black shoes. Yup. Then took out of her room, leaving 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 so often and certainly with every shoe change season.
Finally she put them on. I waited. She didn’t throw them away immediately. A good sign. She got 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 little fuss. Tomorrow it will be easier. And that’s how we build our routine. And I’ll be ordering as many pairs online as possible to save so we can keep wearing them next summer.
I wonder who will buy Mia shoes and help her switch when I’m gone. Do I have to write shoe instructions in my will? These are the small victories that we celebrate. And the big worries that keep us awake at night.
Reader, reader, what do you see? I see Mi white shoes.