Most people think you’re gross. You may even stink. Not me. I want to thank you for carrying me. For walking. For running. But mostly for dancing. Your ten toes leapt, step-ball-changed and pirouetted me through my formative years and I just wanted to say thank you. It’s true, along the way you gave me your share of grief: blisters, missing toenails, arches that ached until they had to be iced. Your toes were taped, band-aided and wrapped so that you could fully support my body and I could take the stage. Together we traveled, to Minnesota, Florida, Omaha, St. Louis, New York and to Spain. Your toes danced on many stages in two different countries and on two different continents. I’m no geographer, but I think that’s pretty amazing.
Today your duties have been mostly retired. There are no band-aids, no missing toenails, no wrapped arches to get me through the day. The only dancing you do is with two young girls on the living room rug – a much different stage indeed. But you still support me – you stand firmly and plant my legs on your toes and heels. You are the roots that ground me, and the strength that holds my back, damaged from all those years of dancing, in place. Thank you. Thank you for taking me places I could not have seen as easily without you: school, my job, down the aisle, into the delivery room for both of my girls, to New York and San Francisco, to Minneapolis and Dallas, to weddings and funerals and parties and games and even once to Tijuana...I’m sorry about that one.
I hope I do you the same service you’ve done me by dressing you in the fanciest shoes (I really do have a problem with that, I’m trying) – by painting those 10 toenails I once had such a time keeping ON you. I hope that I can take care of you the way you have continued to take care of me. I tried to thank you once before with the tattoo on the left one of you. It’s in my grandfather’s handwriting and reminds me to be as strong as you have been for me. It continues to be a reminder of your strength…of our strength. I think you are amazing and I don’t tell you nearly as often as I should. Thank you for all that you do. I will do my best to see that you continue to hold me up for years and years and years to come.