Hand-me-downs are great.  I’m a HUGE fan.  They also create strange “problems” such as 12 pairs of pants and only 3 shirts.  Or 7 coats all of the same size.  Or a swimsuit for each day of the week ( we live in SOUTH DAKOTA).

Currently, Ellie has 3 pairs of black dress shoes that are all size 8.  This is wonderful, awesome, super cool even.  Except . . .

Well except that when a 3 year old is charged with finding and putting on her shoes in the chaos before Mass things can get confusing.  And when you tell her to hurry as you are walking into church and she tells you she is but that it’s hard to walk with her clippy (so named for the sound they make) shoes and you look down to find she has two left shoes on (which means two different kinds of shoes), you kind of want to die.

I speak from experience.

The poor chicky had grabbed two patent leather shoes, but one happened to have a heel and one didn’t.  Little girls velcro Mary Jane’s don’t stay buckled when they’re on the wrong feet.  I carried her into Mass and we promptly removed both shoes because it’s socially acceptable to have a preschooler be barefoot in the pew. But an 8-year-old?

An acquaintance was walking up to the cathedral at the same time we were on Good Friday.  You must understand that it is a HAUL to get to any of the entrances at our parish.  That night we had parked out in the parking lot and had to walk the length of the church to get to the door we were using.  And we were cutting it close, as usual. Jac was at the door with Gemma and I was still only half-way there with Ellie and everyone else strung out between us.

“You guys are looking sharp tonight!” our friend remarked.

I chuckled.  “Thanks.  Philip ran to the car carrying his shoes and belt and with his pants undone.  That sums us up.  Don’t look too close.”

He laughed in understanding – they have 4 that match Max, Phil, Ellie and Gemma in age. We hustled into the church and into a pew as the service was just beginning.  We watched the Bishop prostrate himself before the altar, prayed the opening prayer and sat down to listen to the readings.

It was then I noticed.  Philip, feet kicking pack and forth, laces dragging, had on two different shoes. One round toed, one square.  I looked from his feet to his face trying to discern if he knew.  As it was too late to do anything about it, I kept my knowledge to myself. He seemed unfazed even as we walked all the way up the aisle and back TWICE.

Not until we were crossing the threshold at home did I ask Jac if he noticed his son’s two left feet.

“What?” Philip looked down at his shoes. “I didn’t even notice!”

Obviously.  Now who do you think will be next?