The 5th graders at my school are studying fairy tales and fables. The other day one of the girls said, "I have a question about Cinderella. If the shoe fit perfectly, then why did it fall off?" I'm not sure how the other teacher and I responded, I don't quite remember. I think it was something along the lines of, "Even though my shoes fit, sometimes they can still fall off. Right?" But as I said, I am not 100% sure.
Later that evening, I was thinking about the question. I think I took it very literally when she first asked but then I kept rethinking it. It was a good question for a 10 year old to ask. And it can really be related to SO MANY things in life.
Even if the shoe fits, doesn't it fall off sometimes? Even if you think you have found your way, can't you still get lost occasionally?
As a mom, I feel this way ALL THE TIME. There is no doubt in my mind that I was meant to be the mother of my 3 wonderful girls. No doubt. That doesn't mean that I don't stumble from time to time...or minute to minute. Yes, I was meant to be a mother. That shoe fits. But sometimes the shoe feels so tight that I can barely breathe. And sometimes it feels so big that I will never be able to fill it.
Just because the shoe falls off (or you take it off) every now and then, doesn't mean it doesn't fit you perfectly. Every day is filled with some sort of questioning or self doubt. I second guess myself daily. I think about working out of the home again and hope that I made the right choice to go back to teaching (I am pretty sure I did). I get overwhelmed with what needs to be done at home while I am at work. Like can't the dirty clothes and dishes just wash themselves? When I realize that I never made my 3 year old's yearly physical appointment, I blame myself. Why can't I do it all or remember it all? (On that note, let me go ahead and call the pediatrician's office and make an appointment right now before I forget for the 571st time.) When I have had a long day and I raise my voice, I think that maybe I am not cut out for all of this.
But I am. I do believe that. So I put the shoe back on again and again.
If I could respond to that 5th grader's question right now, I would tell her all of this. I would say that there are SO MANY times in life when the shoe fits perfectly, but it still falls off. And just like Cinderella, don't give up on it. Life can be rough and unfair. Try to choose optimism and hope when you want to give up. And don't be afraid to put the shoe back on, even if it has fallen off a hundred times.
And I am sorry about all the shoe/life metaphors, but it just works so well. Am I right?