A Barefoot Fable: The Grandmother, the Elves, and the Barefoot Grandson
We received a pleasant surprise recently when one of our customers, Tina Davidson, wrote an adorable story about her children's experience with our shoes... and their wise barefoot grandmother. We saw the story when she posted it on her blog and fell in love with it right away. With Tina's permission, we're now happy to share it with you, too.
The Grandmother, the Elves, and the Barefoot Grandson
by Tina Davidson
Once upon a time there lived a barefoot grandmother.
This 21st century grandmother, aka Granny, enjoyed shoe-less gardening, running muddy trails in her bare feet, and writing poems about it all. When her grandchildren, who lived hours away, came to visit her she encouraged them to ditch their shoes and explore the garden.
This delighted the grandchildren and annoyed their parents—and made the grandchildren want to visit Granny's every weekend. Granny's children didn't always approve of their mother's “hippie” feet, and their spouses fretted over their little ones' foot safety. However, Granny's daughter slowly became more aware of the science behind what Granny was modeling and reassured her siblings that old age had not driven their mother to “barefoot madness.” In fact, many studies existed to back up Granny's intuition that walking and running with her feet in direct contact with the ground was good for both her body and brain.
(Sometimes, though, even grannies have to wear shoes; when Granny wore her favorite pair, people would smile because they looked like something an elf would wear. Little did they know how right they were . . . )
Granny's oldest grandson especially loved being barefoot at Granny's house. He had sensory issues with clothing and shoes, and would have gone barefoot all the time if it hadn't been for his father's extreme regard for foot safety as well as the rest of society frowning upon bare feet in public places.
Luckily, the grandson attended a fabulous Montessori school, but even in that supportive environment he was having trouble learning because he couldn't keep his shoes on. He couldn't stand the feel of them, and would trip on them and kick them off in the classroom and on the playground.
“Why can't I just go barefoot?” he would ask.
“The rules say you have to wear shoes at school,” his frustrated mom and teacher would reply.
Because Granny wasn't really a hippie (she was born a decade too late), but was full of a desire to fill the world with peace and love anyway, she knew just what to do. She contacted the clever elves who had made her own comfortable moccasins. (They did not work at the North Pole, but at SoftStar Shoes in Corvallis, Oregon.)
“If my grandson has to wear shoes, then he should have the perfect shoes that feel like he is wearing no shoes at all. Can you help him?”
“Of course,” the elves replied, and got right to work.
When the custom shoes were completed, the elves shipped them via UPS to the grandson's door. He opened the box and put them on immediately, exclaiming, “These feel so soft!”
At the end of school the next day, the teacher reported to his mother about the difference in his behavior: "I don't know what it is about these shoes, but he keeps them on."
And even his friends made comments like, "I want a pair of shoes just like those for Christmas!” while others wanted some for their birthdays. The grandson skyped that evening with his granny and showed off his magical new shoes. He thanked her and said, “If I have to wear shoes, then these are the only kind I will wear.”
Granny was happy, and went for a barefoot trail run to celebrate.
About the Author: Tina Davidson enjoys life on California’s Central Coast with her foot-safety-conscious husband and their two energetic and frequently barefoot sons. Some of her favorite blog topics involve environmental medicine and brain health. Find out more about Tina at tinadavidson.wordpress.com.
Be sure to check out her original post for more information about foot health and the benefits of minimalist/barefoot shoes.
Tina's Son's Shoes
Martin is a lifelong runner who began wearing minimalist shoes over 10 years ago when he found they alleviated his chronic foot pain, which eventually disappeared completely. He further studied proper running form through a series of workshops taught by Correct Toes inventor, Dr. Ray McClanahan DPM. Martin has collaborated with several health care professionals to collect and share peer-reviewed studies that show the benefits of minimalist footwear. In his personal life, Martin loves living in the Pacific Northwest because it allows him to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities year-round, including hiking, cycling, rock climbing, surfing and snowboarding.