Shropshire Star

Dan Morris: These boots are made for walking

The Christmas deccies came down last weekend, and good ol' Saint Nick has, alas, been banished back to the North Pole for another 12 months.

A big step forward for such a little lady...

I have to say that this year, I was particularly glum to see the trimmings packed away. In the Morris household, it had been a truly lovely Christmas, and I could happily have dragged the whole business out for another month.

Still, I suppose what makes the festive season special is that it is, indeed, a season, and we'd hardly get as excited each year if we overcooked the goose (pun most definitely intended).

Routine has now resumed though, and it's not so bad. While I do love Christmas, it is nice to remember what day it is, and this often falls by the wayside when you start throwing in turkey dinners on a Tuesday, and begin your working week 24 hours later.

It's true what they say, little 'uns often find more pleasure in the wrapping paper than in their presents themselves, and this year Little Miss Morris proved no exception.

I've often sat back and smiled at how wonderfully amused and content she is with this simplest of things, yet this Christmas I couldn't help but audibly giggle at her glee at playing with the boxes rather than the toys they had contained.

It will change soon enough, I'm sure. But for now it's a magical stage to be savoured.

As a one-year-old, my daughter is very much a creature of routine, and so I think she has been subconsciously pleased at some semblance of this returning. She has certainly helped kick me back into gear in this regard, and though the tree has only been down for a week, Christmas now feels rather long ago. But, when you have a bouncing bambina in the house, even the dreariest January day can be made enchanting, and my little peach tree never fails to deliver.

Recently her mum and I took her on a very special trip to purchase her first pair of shoes. The clog shop in question was something of a Willy Wonka's chocolate factory to my daughter, who proceeded to joyfully throw as many shoes as she could from the racks with ruthless abandon. Thanks to the attention of a particularly wonderful young assistant, said carnage was contained, and my baby girl's wee feat were measured up for her very first glass slippers.

It was then time to choose some booties. My gaze had fallen instantly on a pair of dinosaur-print trainers, but when it was pointed out that they didn't come in my size, I turned my attention back to some pumps for my princess.

Naturally, all available options were far too cute for the field to be narrowed to only one, so we came away with a pair of navy blue buckle-ups and a set of silver/pink space trainers. She left the store wearing the latter, and I must confess to almost welling up. Seeing her proudly stomping out into the shopping centre walkway while showing off her sneaky new sneakers is a sight I will never forget. All of a sudden, a proper toddler stood where a baby had once been, and she looked ready to rule the world.

Forrest Gump's momma once famously told him that his first pair of shoes would take him anywhere, and I couldn't get that immortal line out of my head as I watched my little poppet stride with pride. I've since been thinking about the many pairs of shoes I've owned (far more than any bloke should admit to) and all of the fantastic places they have taken me. When I do this I grin with unadulterated joy at the thought of my little 'un experiencing the same adventures. Just not all of them, and some not for a long time yet.

Wherever your feet take you sweetheart, just put one in front of the other and keep going. There's a big, wide world out there, and it's yours for the taking.

Keep your head held high, and know that with every step you take I will always be as proud as when you first left that shoe shop. In years to come, you might be lucky enough to have your own children, and I know you'll feel the same way.

And if you take them back to that same shoe shop, do be a dear and bag some stegosaurus slippers for your old man. Happy walking sweetie.

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