Not all feet. Very specific feet. I LOVE my kids' feet. I love to tickle them, nibble them, smell them and pretend to gag. I love, love, love them.
Though my kids' feet are my favorite, my obsession with feet began years ago, with their father. Aaron has beautiful feet. "Jesus feet," I used to call them...with "lollipop toes." Allow me to explain: I was raised Catholic and have seen my fair share of crucifixes. Statues of the crucified Christ always had beautiful feet.
Similarly, Aaron has lovely feet. They are soft and slender but masculine at the same time. His toes are long (but not too long) and slightly rounded on the ends, hence the term "lollipop toes."
My feet? Not so pretty. I have always secretly hoped our children would inherit their dad's feet. Only time will tell.
I love watching the progression of the kids' growth simply by looking down.
First, there is the impossibly soft newborn foot. Oh, how I love newborn feet! Minuscule toenails, bright pink flesh. They somehow seem skinnier than they ought to be if one were to judge by the fluffy infant socks that slip off so easily. I love the way they curve inward, still mimicking their cramped position in the womb. Stroking the bottom of a newborn foot is like stroking pure silk.
All too soon those baby feet become toddler feet. If it's summer, those feet are likely to be brown on the bottom from running barefoot outside. They get dirty under the still-tiny toenails. They are still fat and squishy, but now their kick packs a punch when tickled.
Then suddenly those toddler feet are wrapped in socks and shoes, bundled up for preschool and playgrounds. They escape for afternoon naps and bedtime and still require much tickling and kissing (at least in our house, because, well, I love feet).
And now, my oldest son has graduated to the smelly phase. He wears socks and shoes at home and school. He runs and plays and sweats all day. On particularly busy days, you might catch him taking a nap. He's usually so exhausted he falls asleep across his bed, still wearing his sneakers. By the end of the day, when we peel off those shoes, I don't have to pretend to gag. I still grab his ankle, and growl loudly (like a hungry giant), "Let me smell those feet!" and bury my face in his toes. Whew! He laughs and laughs. "Do it again mommy!"
Is every family this weird? (Don't answer that.)