The Black Shoes With the Patent Leather Toes

My son got married this past weekend. I am so happy because he is so happy. And my new daughter-in-law is perfect, I think. I like her for my son, and I like her for myself and my husband, too. People will tell you that doesn’t always happen, so I feel very lucky. Now, I’ve got to try hard to be a good mother-in-law. It’s very important to me.

I wrote this poem in July; it’s part of the Summer Poetry Marathon and is in my most recent book, “Catch Up With Summer”. When weddings occur, roles change with the saying of a few words. I think it’s natural to wonder how your own feelings about yourself will change, too.

Now the events anticipated in this poem have occurred. The transition is made and our family enhanced. Everything went so wonderfully. And I can say these black shoes turned out to be very comfortable and just right for the occasion.

The Black Shoes With Patent Leather Toes

I must try on those shoes for the wedding.
They arrived a week ago and
I haven’t taken them out of the box.
What I am waiting for I don’t know.
I am afraid of those shoes
fancy dress shoes of the kind I rarely wear.
I won’t feel myself in them.
That, I’m pretty sure of. I’ve already returned one dress
for that very reason.
Finding clothing for this mother-of-the-groom-person
I will be at this wedding
has been trying because
I am not familiar with her
having had such a short existence
and so little experience
as mother of the groom –
Being both
Mother of a grown-up son
getting married
A lady in a navy blue dress
acquiring a daughter-in-law.
Everyone always tells you, just be yourself,
but who is that,
when I’m at this wedding?
I must try on those shoes.

The wedding was held in Pittsburgh. Here is a river view of the three yellow bridges.

The wedding was held in Pittsburgh. Here is a river view of the three yellow bridges.


18 thoughts on “The Black Shoes With the Patent Leather Toes

  1. Congratulations to your son and his new wife! I enjoyed your poem immensely. You’ve really managed to capture that sense of an identity shift and the way we focus on small details as an act of emotional self-preservation when we are going through a transition in life. Even when it’s a positive change, the process can be emotionally taxing.

  2. Congratulations! What happy news!!

    Finding the perfect shoes for an occasion is blissful enough. That your son has found a person to share his journey — and she fits well into your life, too? PERFECTION.

  3. Thank you. I hope so. I feel very lucky to have such a good son and now a daughter, too. All I ever wanted in life was a nice family and I feel very happy about all of this.

  4. Thank you. That’s exactly how I’ve felt. I get easily overwhelmed by this kind of thing and I cope by taking it one step at a time and making lots of lists! Now that the event itself is over, I feel very happy and satisfied with things, but during the run-up, I felt I was picking my way along the trail. Then somehow it’s fallen into place now – guess I’ll be writing about this in the next Marathon!

  5. Thank you so much. This is one of the biggest events of my life and it has taken me time to absorb. Now I am ready to greet the future with a new family member, I am just almost overwhelmed by my luck.

  6. Congratulations to you and your expanding family. I have so many responses to this wonderful poem! First of all I have to admit I am a shoe addict and that my response to either of my sons getting married would be to think of the new shoes (after freaking out that at 18 and 20 they may be a little too young yet) but having always wanted a daughter more than shoes I would be full of excitement and trepidation about such a big change in our family. You have captured this so much more eloquently than I.

  7. Thank you. The shoe thing, well, I don’t care much about shoes, but I knew the only dress pair I had, I hated, and I decided I would wear nothing but clothes, etc., that made me happy, so as to bring happy thoughts with me, and also so my feet did not hurt! The shoes I chose did the job. As to my new daughter-in-law, I feel just as you say, excitement and trepidation, not about her, because she is great, but as to how I can fill this new role, for a new person in the family whose dynamics I am used to and now are changing!. Thanks for your understanding and empathy.

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