Ha ha ha, no this is a HUMBLE brag 🙂 So my two littlest really needed some new snow boots this winter. Even though they are not twins the 2 year old has caught up with his older brother who is 3 1/2 and they now wear the same size shoe. Out at Marshall’s three weeks ago without them I saw some Columbia snow boots in their size and on sale. I picked up two pair and brought them home, hopeful they would fit.
For two days I kept trying them on them, squishing their feet into these adorable boots. At one point my 3 1/2 year olds’ heel made it all the way down into the boot which just emblazoned me to keep trying. Finally realizing that that one time was a fluke, I gave up and admitted even though they were super cute and functional, they didn’t fit. It took me another week to return them.
Eventually a week and a half after that I went on Amazon and found the same boot, on sale again, and bought two pair in the size bigger, again hopeful.
It’s been a snowy winter so far here in Vermont, I’ve had these boys in less than ideal boots and was really hoping these would work. They have a velcro strap to keep the boots on tight and a string at the top to tighten to keep the snow out, just what I wanted.
Well, the bigger boots I ordered arrived today and this larger size was still not even close to fitting. I pulled out the inner liner, and noticed the same issue with the last pair, the liner was super skinny, far smaller than the inside of the boot shell. I was so frustrated. I did not want to return these boots. I looked at the liners and they looked pretty simply stitched together and then I remembered that we had some extra boot liners for some of the bigger kids boots… hmmm, could I fix this? I was a little nervous it wouldn’t work and then I would be unable to return the boots and our money would be wasted.
The idea caught hold of my imagination though, so I decided to go for it.
Once the little ones were in bed for the night, I found the extra liners, grabbed some thread, a needle, my Nonni’s really good huge sewing scissors, and a marker. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make a template for the foot bed, till I realized there was an insert in each boot below the liners. Perfect!! The insert actually fit the full size of the boot. So I took it out and traced it on the extra felt liners I had and cut them out. I then spent the next two hours first dismantling the bottom of each new liner from the Columbia boots and then sewing the larger footbed I cut out into the top part of the new Columbia liners.
It worked perfectly!!!! Now the felt liners take up all the space inside the boot and I am nearly certain they will now fit my boys.
Christmas has been getting the best of me a bit this week, that combined with the lack of light at this time of year. There is just so much going on and so much pressure to achieve so much in so little time and yet still make dinners do laundry, sit on the floor and play with kids, listen to their days, etc.
But these two and a half hours were so stinkin’ satisfying!!!
The boots are saved people! The boots are saved!
I watched a little of the news coverage from Aleppo today and it made me sick to my stomach and ashamed of the privilege of my relative safety, warm house, food, etc. Thinking about the plight of these human beings feels paralyzing. The darkness in our world can feel so overpowering.
This small tangible thing, making some new snow boots that just weren’t right, right… No matter how many times I stuffed my little guys feet into these boots, it did not change the fact that the liners were made too small. Our world can be so overwhelming, and I know I am just a small small cog in it. But today I made change. Two little boys now have awesome boots for their Vermont winter because of me.
I think I’ll enjoy this feeling for a while and remember what Saint Francis of Assisi said — ‘All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.’
God have mercy on those who are suffering and preserve the rest of us from despair so we may be lights in our homes, our communities, our world.
With love from snowy Vermont,