Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby Shoes

These are my foot prints made soon after I was born. I weighed 7 lbs.-5 oz., was 20 1/2 inches long and had a head circumference of 13 1/2 inches. Dr. McCoy Pitt officiated, but I suspect it was a nurse who inked my little toes.

I found this certificate in the magical music cabinet, which is considerably smaller than my mother's cedar chest. Her trunk sits at the foot of her bed, and she keeps things like our baby shoes, some old photographs and tiny sweaters in it. There aren't many shoes left in it, though, because my father got a hold of some of them years ago during his electroplating phase.

He set up what looked like a creepy science laboratory in the basement with a tank of acid and bottles of ooze which he used to bronze anything and everything. He electroplated baby shoes so people could keep them forever—sometimes they would be mounted separately on book ends or sometimes together on a stand with a commemorative plate. They looked like this when he was finished:

In the 60s when I was born, you couldn't buy cute little flexible baby shoes—people thought you had to harness baby feet in rock-hard white things that slapped on the floor when a kid tried to walk, better for encouraging strong ankles and proper arches, I suppose, even though all those little bones hadn't even fused together yet. But then what does nature know.

My babies wore little, suede moccasins or no shoes at all when they were really little. Later on, I shopped for cute, not for support, but since my father had long since given up his basement laboratory, I don't have a shoe to show for it.


dive said...

Aaaah, what cute little feet you had, Robyn!

And wow! You really had Doctor Mc.Coy? That must have been before he joined Starfleet Command and got a job on the Enterprise.
I wonder if he used a tricorder on you?

Bronzing shoes is weird! That must be a US thing; we don't have it over here.
I still think your pink plaid Converse shoes were the coolest I've ever seen.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

My in-laws have a pair of bronzed shoes in their living room. It is a little bit creepy.

It was the thing to do at one point in time, however. An homage to the first born, and maybe the second, but the children after that? Not so much.

Lovely post!

lynn said...

Ahhhh sweet Robyn!

Yes mine had those suede mocassins too - in blue! Then we progressed to very soft leather booties, then shoes.

I have absolutely no idea what I wore.
I too think the bronzing thing is a little freaky.

Talk to the Bronze Shoe Guy said...

Bronzing baby shoes is creepy or freaky? No way!

More sentimental mothers are having their baby's first shoes bronzed today than ever before.

They're having baby sneakers bronzed, too...and they look terrific!

I may be a bit biased...but check out this website

Worth a look. :)

savannah said...

i remember seeing my baby shoes, but for the life of me i have no idea where they are now...thanks for the trip down memory lane, sugar! ;) xoxo

lynn said... thanks Mr. Shoe Guy, it's not for me. Each to his own, though, hey.

Rich said...

Ahhh the things we could electroplate,Robyn. That's really some music chest you have there - I can't wait to see what pops out of it next.

MmeBenaut said...

Oh that is so cute Robyn. Fancy being so loved that your father would bronze your shoes and they were cute too. I don't find it creepy at all.
I wore those white shoes as a child and have one or two photos of them, that's about all. My father wasn't a sentimental person - somehow I don't think he ever got over the fact that he had 4 girls instead of a football team of boys to whom he would have been much more suited.