Tag: luckysocks

Charlie’s Room: Shoelaces

Isaac waited by the front door for Charlie. He waited and waited. “Charlie? Are you coming?”

“I’ll be there in a moment,” Charlie called down the hall.

Isaac continued waiting. “How long is a moment?”

“Just a little bit longer,” Charlie called.

Isaac waited. “How long is a little bit?”

“Just a second.”

Isaac counted one-one-thousand-two and decided to go check on Charlie. He found him sitting on his bedroom floor tying his new sneakers. “Are you sure you want to wear your new sneakers to the park?”

Charlie tied his shoelaces in a triple bow. He looked up. “It would be a great way to break them in. All that running and climbing and jumping would be perfect.”

That made sense. Isaac smiled. “Great idea! Let’s go.”

“There’s only one problem,” Charlie said.

“What’s that?”

“Look.” Charlie lifted one of his feet. The shoelaces dangled to the sides of the shoe untied.

That didn’t make sense. Isaac thought back over the last two minutes. “I didn’t see you untie your shoes.”

“That’s because I didn’t untie them. The shoelaces keep untying themselves.” Charlie let his foot fall back to the floor with a thump.

“But you tied a triple bow!”

“I know.” Charlie sighed. “I’ve tried knots and giant bows and shoving the ends inside my shoes and tying the ends around my ankle, but they just won’t stay tied at all.”

Isaac sat down next to Charlie. “This is a puzzle. Can I try?”

“Sure.” Charlie stretched out his foot so that Isaac could reach the laces.

Isaac rubbed a shoelace between his fingers. It felt like a normal shoelace. It wasn’t waxy or slippery or oily.

He tied the laces in a double bow. As soon as he let go of the shoelaces, they slowly fell out of the bow somehow. It didn’t make any sense. He tried other knots and bows. When the laces fell out of a series of eight knots, Isaac knew there was something wrong with the laces.

“Do you think they’re unlucky shoelaces?” Charlie asked.

“Have you tried wearing your lucky socks to cancel out any bad luck?”

Charlie frowned. “I thought about it, but what if it works? If I had to wear my lucky socks every day to keep my shoes tied, I’d wear out my lucky socks.”

Isaac smiled and patted Charlie’s shoe. “I think it would be better to know either way. If it’s bad luck, maybe we can find a way to make them lucky. How did your lucky socks get lucky?”

“I don’t know.” Charlie thought for a moment. “I think I just noticed that good things happened when I wore them. Do you think having good things happen can make things lucky? Or maybe doing good things like helping people?”

“That’s a great idea. Maybe we can test that later. Do you want to try your lucky socks now to see if they’ll help you shoelaces?”

“Okay.” Charlie took off his shoes and walked to his dresser. He changed socks and returned to put his new sneakers back on. He tied the laces in a double bow. The laces fell out of the bow as soon as he let go. “I guess they’re not unlucky.” Charlie changed his socks and put his lucky socks away.

“Maybe they’re just really, really stubborn.” Isaac looked at the shoelaces. “Do you think it would help if we asked them nicely to stay tied?”

“It’s worth a try,” Charlie said. He sat next to Isaac and put his shoes back on. He looked down at his shoelaces. “Hello, new shoelaces. I’m Charlie. I’d like you to stay tied, please, until I’m ready to take my shoes off. If my shoes don’t stay tied, my shoes could fall off or I could trip over you and fall.”

Charlie tied the laces into a bow. The shoelaces stayed tied. Charlie and Isaac waited. One-one-thousand-two. The shoelaces were still tied.

“It worked,” Isaac said at last.

“Thank you, shoelaces,” Charlie said. He stood up and walked in a circle. “They’re still tied. I think we can go to the park now.”

Isaac stood up with a smile. “I’ve never seen polite shoelaces before.”

Charlie shrugged. “Maybe the shoelaces are polite, or maybe please and thank you really are magic words. I don’t know. I’m just glad my shoes are staying tied.”

“Me too,” Isaac said. “Let’s go to the park.”

Charlie’s Room: Bad Day

In the latest chapter of the new dinosaur book, Charlie’s favorite character, the dinosaur detective, discovered that his conclusions were wrong. Isaac put the bookmark in the book as Charlie thumped his pillow angrily. “That’s not fair. He wouldn’t make a mistake like that. It’s written wrong,” Charlie complained.

Isaac placed the book on the shelf. “Maybe he’ll find new evidence in the next chapter and find out he was right after all.”

“Maybe.” Charlie flopped back onto his pillow. “Today just went all wrong. Did you ever have a bad day?’

“Lots of times,” Isaac said. “What happened?”

“I think my lucky socks don’t work anymore. What will I do when I need sun for game days? Or when I have a history test?” Isaac rolled over on his side to look at Isaac through the safety bars on his loft bed. “What am I going to do, Dad?”

Isaac leaned back to look up at Charlie. “It may not be as bad as you think. Tell me what went wrong today.”

“My favorite shoes don’t fit anymore. The red ones. They’re too small now and pinch my toes. I knew right then that it was going to be a bad day, so I put on my lucky socks.”

Isaac nodded. “That makes sense. What happened next?”

“I tried my red shoes on again, but they still didn’t fit. So I put on the blue ones. The laces are too long so I had to knot them over and over, but they still kept going untied. The day was obviously doomed at that point.” Charlie rolled over onto his back and stared up at the ceiling.

“And then?”

“And then Mom and I went out to the garden and something had eaten all the strawberries. Even the little green ones that won’t be ripe for weeks. Who does that?” Charlie sounded confused.

Isaac shrugged. “Something really hungry. It’s still early spring, so not a lot of things are ripe, but there’s still a lot of hungry animals out there that weren’t there in the winter.”

“Oh.” Charlie was quiet for a moment. “So maybe it was starving baby squirrels? I guess if they were really hungry, it wouldn’t be so bad.”

“Did anything else happen?”

“I got a paper cut from my origami paper. It was under my thumbnail, right here.” Charlie held up his left hand so Isaac could see. “It really, really hurt. It started bleeding, a lot. But it all stayed under my fingernail, so I didn’t even get a bandaid.”

“I could go get you a bandaid,” Isaac offered.

“Daaaaad.” Charlie dropped his hand. “I’m not a baby. It was just annoying, that’s all. And there were brussel sprouts at dinner. You know I hate brussel sprouts. And we were all out of grape popsicles. And the chapter in the new dinosaur book was awful. It was just a terrible day.”

“Can you think of anything good that happened today?” Isaac asked.

“No.” Charlie rolled over to face Isaac again. “It was all bad.”

“You can’t think of anything at all?”

“No.” Charlie rolled to face the other way. “Nothing at all.”

“You have a nice family. And a garden. And…” Isaac began.

Charlie huffed and interrupted. “I don’t want to count my blessings. It was a bad day. That’s all.”

“Maybe without the lucky socks, it would have been worse.”

“Maybe.” Charlie laughed a little and turned back to face Isaac. “Maybe the house would have burned down.”

“Then I’m glad you were wearing your lucky socks,” Isaac said. “I like our house.”

Charlie sighed. “I do too. Dad, why did I have a bad day? Was it because I didn’t go to bed on time yesterday?”

Isaac shook his head no. “Sometimes people have bad days. Everybody does. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been trying your hardest to be good, you’ll still sometimes have bad days.”

Charlie sat up, frowning. “But why? That’s not fair. Why would good guys have bad days?”

“If you only had good days, I think you might forget how good they are. They’d just seem like normal days, right?”

Charlie shrugged a shoulder. “I guess.”

“When you have a bad day, and the next day is normal, it seems like a good day because it’s not a bad day. I think bad days help us remember the things we have to be grateful for. And they teach us important things like patience, and empathy, and choosing to be happy.”

Charlie flopped back down on his pillow. “I guess so.”

“And now maybe some baby squirrels are going to bed with full tummies,” Isaac pointed out. “That’s good.”

“I guess so.” Charlie shrugged, and his shoulders made a whispery sound against his bed sheets. “Maybe my socks were lucky for the squirrels today, not me.”

“Or maybe they were just busy keeping our house from burning down,” Isaac said.

Charlie laughed. “Yeah, that too.”

Isaac waited a moment, and stood up when Charlie didn’t say anything else. He crossed the room and turned the light out. “Good night, Charlie. I love you.”

“I love you too,” Charlie said. “I am glad you’re my dad, you know. Even on bad days.”

“And I’m glad you’re my Charlie,” Isaac said.

“Good night, Dad.”

“Good night.”

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