I forgot to teach my son to tie his shoes. Between washing enough shorts and socks for three children to participate in soccer and baseball, feeding the dog, running a business and battling a dandelion-infested lawn, it simply slipped my mind.

Until last Sunday, when Josh bent down to put on his cleats before a game.

“Will you show me how to tie them?” he asked.

As I was guiding him in making the loops, it occurred to me that a nearly six-year-old child should be able to do this himself. That is, if his mother had taught him how. He can tell time. He knows the square root of 100. He can use the microwave and answer the phone. But shoes, those are another matter.

There is the question of whether shoe tying is a necessary life skill. Why can’t he tie? Because the last time he needed to was back in the fall, during last soccer season. The rest of his shoes slip on or close with Velcro.

Perhaps shoelaces are a thing of the past, like non-cordless phones and televisions with big fat tubes in the back. Should I be proud or embarrassed that we have several of both?

Alas, I am not an early adopter. I do not want to have the first kid on the block who never learned to tie shoes.

I’m sure we’ll get to it. Maybe next Sunday.


3 thoughts on “Shoelaces

  1. We are two birds of a feather. I remember the feeling or horror that ripped through me when I realized I had never taught Sarah, who was then in her final year of preschool, how to put on her own jacket. Without a user’s manual for these kids, basic needs sometimes go unmet.


  2. Aunt Sheri suspects that it doesn’t matter when you plan to get around to teaching him. As soon as that little six-year old understands the utility, he’ll figure it out on his own! He’s yet another amazing child of yours. And you are an amazing, wonderful, empowering mom.


  3. Harry has been begging me to teach him to tie his shoes. He knew how to ride a bike at 4, waterski at 5, snowski at 3. Why not tie shoes by 7? The things that get left behind!


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