I have my father’s feet.
I have my Grandpa Larry’s legs too but that’s a second statement.
I’ve lived a changing number of miles away from my dad for most of my life. 3, 10,000, 2,816 now.
I don’t have an exact memory of when I figured out that our feet are identical but in my mind, I imagine it was probably on the beach somewhere when I got to blow off Friday in elementary school and my sister and I joined him on a work trip to Boca or Miami.
Or perhaps it was by our pool or in the driveway, when we lived 0 miles apart from him and my sister and I made puddle games out of keeping him company while he washed his rotating roster of random cars. Or maybe when we recruited him to sunbathe next to our barefoot Barbie Sunday sessions (or at least barbecue chicken for us while we pushed Ken and B. around the jacuzzi in their hot pink cruise boat).
We almost lost him my senior year of high school. Back when my feet spent a minimum of 12 hours a week trapped in pointe shoes and I wasn’t able to comprehend exactly what cancer meant, but appreciated the grey stray cat that showed up to look after him when we didn’t know how to.
Dance and Dad genes don’t exactly lend to gorgeous trotters. I remember hating how they looked in my prom shoes, and played the “poor me” game when they grew to be a whole size larger than my mom and sister’s who still share a show collection between them.
My feet look different to me know.
When I look at mine I see his.
The streets and beaches he’s walked barefoot and booted built the stories he’s laughed through and told to me over countless glasses of Chardonnay or his occasional G&T exception to the rule.
On the cusp of 30, single, and starting a new chapter in a new city a whole country apart from where I started, Inheritance is a word I’ve only just started to allow into my brain space. As any good millennial, I’m exploring stocks and startups and thinking about what it’s going to mean someday to pass on or cash in.
Sure. There’s an app or two to help me figure the finances; even a few to monitor the movement of my feet. But- I can’t help but smile a lot more often these days- courtesy of the west coast sunshine- when a pair of open-toed size 8s reminds me that somewhere on a mountain top, 3,000 miles east, there’s a matching set contributing to our step count.
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