When Ethan was born, one of the first things I noticed was how soft his feet were. Impossibly soft. Almost unreal. As I fit his tiny newborn feet into my hands, I remarked how it didn't feel possible for a human's skin to be this soft.
At three and a half, those feet are different. They're rough and dirty and calloused. Blades of grass weaved in between toes, uneven toenails painted with mud. Those same feet are bigger now, awkwardly sized and disproportionate to the rest of his body. One day his body will catch up to those massive feet, the ones that seldom see shoes.
"Where are Ethan's shoes?" Usually in the car. They're always in the car. Ready for those places we go where shoes are mandatory, a buzzkill for Ethan who dreads these places for that very reason. These feet feel water and mud and grass and dirt under them at all times, most times, exploring the Earth below them.
This afternoon after a bath that removed mashed potatoes from the crevices in his thighs and watercolor paint from his elbows and earlobes, I took those feet into my hands again. This time to scrub them clean, but admire them all the same. How impossibly perfect they still seem.