Finn usually wears socks in public. He has silly feet. But today we left the house barefoot. It’s too hot for socks!

I entered Target with Finn strapped sock-less against my chest, and I became immediately conscious that people may stare at his feet swinging beside my hip. God was sweet to show me not one, but four handicapped children shopping with their parents in the short hour I was zooming around the store. I whispered, “Thank you, Lord,” in the peanut butter aisle. He reminded me that we’re not alone, and it gave me confidence to show off this incredible, beautiful child…feet, shunt and all. Finn was literally staring up at me smiling the entire time. I think he was reminding me to focus on him, not his Spina Bifida.

We met an intelligent, inspiring woman named Kendall last weekend who also has Spina Bifida. She and her sweet parents have done an incredible job embracing life and identity apart from this sometimes terrifying, unpredictable birth defect. It’s been a tough year for Kendall but she continues to live gratefully–giving love, inspiration and remarkable faith. And she also gave Finn this bear.

My friend, Taylor, has such a unique perspective on things: from the invention of the mattress to living out your faith. Her wisdom has challenged me for over ten years. She said (or texted, can’t remember) something so profound once: my perspective on Finn’s disability will become his perspective. If I think his feet are awesome (AND THEY ARE), then he might think they’re awesome. If I focus on what he can do, maybe he won’t focus too much on what he can’t. If we help him find identity apart from his disability, he may not identify with it quite so much. He just may go barefoot.


15 thoughts on “Socks

  1. I know we can all be very self conscience about appearances but the reminder you received today was a good one. We’re not to concern ourselves with what others think. Only the miracles He gives us and what He thinks, and that we’re never alone.

  2. Finn is truly adorable… You are an awesome mom and I know Joey is the greatest dad! Remember that all parents have no idea what they are doing – if it is the right thing or not… We all do the best we can, we pray allot, and you know we just keep doing it. We make mistakes and you will too…but Finn will be okay even so. He will forgive you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts- they are challenging and I need that.

  3. Can I just cut and paste everything that Jane said??! You guys have some great friends don’t you, wise beyond years. Finn sure has some great encouragers.

  4. Love your heart and the things you’re learning sweet friend, thank you for sharing your insight! And I have NO doubt Finn has the absolute BEST feet – I vote BAREFOOT EVERYDAY!!

  5. My sweet child, while I stayed with you taking off Finn’s socks and squishing his feet was something I looked forward to each day. Do you know I always thought I had cute feet, probably because my parents told me I did? Until one day a doctor told me my feet were less than perfect? Although I was taken back who do you think I thought was wrong, not my parents? Finn will look to you and Joey for affirmation and all of us will be cheering you on as you parent this precious child.

  6. I think Finn’s feet are beautiful, seriously. I look forward to getting to see them for myself very soon.

  7. sweet Ashley, your openness and beautiful articulation of your heart so blesses me. I have tears in my eyes for the way you love and fight for your Finn! he is such a powerful blessing to all! thank you for sharing!

  8. Go barefoot because it feels good. Laugh and smile because that feels good too. And, I wish Taylor was my friend.

    Hope to see you and Finn bare footing it this weekend!

  9. I vote for no socks too!! Way to teach all of us mr. Finn….we all have “stuff” we should look beyond…. being more thankful instead! I love my family!!

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