Monday, April 20, 2009

Tie your shoes if you can

My son is almost ten and still struggles to tie his shoes.
I blame myself.
In his toddler years his mother and I would purchase Velcro sneakers.
We did this for ease and speed.
We wanted to avoid the messy hassle of knots and the potential danger of tripping on wayward laces, at least that's how we rationalized our decision.
Sort of like fast food clothing.

As he got older, he'd get help tying his shoes once, often triple-knots, then he would simply keep them tied, and slip them on and off.

This method took its toll on the back of the sneaker, often shortening its life.

But the result of taking shortcuts all these years is that my son doesn't really know how to tie his shoes.

The other day I knelt down to show him.
The rabbit goes around the tree and into the hole, etc.
He mimicked what I had done, but with limited success.
We tried again, and this time something clicked inside him.
His third try, better than the second.
He wanted to continue to try, but we were running behind getting to baseball practice.
Seems we're always running behind.

But which came first?
The demands of our fast-paced culture, or buying those Velcro sneakers in order to keep up?


  1. Mr. A, another very nice entry. Shoe tying truly is a life altering experience.

  2. I can relate to this. For years, I too followed the "tie one impossible knot, never untie it" method.. The road I travel now is one of hardship and peril. To my left and to my right, I find the remains of those not strong enough to make the journey to the end, and end I cannot see. I close my eyes, and I'm haunted by images from my past. Terrible, terrible images. Velcro. "Bunny ears." Tripping on laces. I carry this weight with me, and I will continue to, until I pass the threshold onto the hallowed ground, and join the proud ranks of those who can tie their own shoes.

  3. Discussions of shoe-tying always remind me of that movie Big Daddy. Loop, swoop and pull, yo.