Monday, May 10, 2010

Going native...

A barefoot childhood is something Kiwis are proud of. For me bare feet were reserved for the beach - and having no shoes on in a shop or on the road was on a level with eating in the street - an absolute no no. I still furtively bite into an apple if I'm walking in public (I am lying about the apple - it's a chocolate bar or it was until the late New Year resolutions)

Kiwi kids tend to kick off their shoes anywhere. I was a little taken aback to see children walking to and from school barefoot... my kids of course have gone native quickly and the shoes (and jumper) are dumped along with the school bag as as soon as we get to the classroom.

We got this note home from school about this week's cross country race. Along with the usual instructions to bring a drink etc was the sort of advice I've never seen before...

It did make me laugh... like seeing the "no dogs allowed" signs in English pubs. I remember thinking 'well of course no dogs are allowed'. Well, likewise 'of course you wear shoes in a race.' 

Apparently we Australians are more uptight than we'd like to think... My kids are going to get wide flat feet and soles like shoe leather but they look pretty happy about it. 


  1. I spent a large part of my childhood in Darwin, nobody wore shoes! It's funny how that was normal to me then and so strange to me now..Rxx

  2. oh yes going shoe-free is a real Kiwi thing but you'll end up with horrible feet like mine! DH is probably a bit like you in thinking that barefoot is just for the beach and he makes Elijah wear shoes everywhere. I, on the other hand, am a bit more relaxed but not so much to walk barefoot in public (my sister still does and she's almost 20!)

  3. Oh, "old habits die hard" don't they. I used to teach kinder and had a bit of a thing about kids being able to take their shoes off in the sandpit so they could feel the sand between their toes. Your kids will probably have really heatlhy feet and lovely postures as a result of all the free bare foot roaming.

  4. It's all relative isn't it? We didn't go into town without a hat, gloves and a jacket on when I was growing up. Do people even wear gloves anymore? Your kids will have lovely strong feet when they grow up.

  5. Okay, I've been glued to my computer screen since I got home from school drop-off. I have plenty to get done today, but you write so well, and all the NZ references are keeping me paralysed in my seat,(apart from my 2 typing fingers).
    I am so glad you have discovered freedom for your kids! Mine had the initiation but, alas, we crossed the ditch and now they wear shoes everywhere, all the time. My youngest regularly has infected, ingrown big-toe nails which I'm sure wouldn't be an issue if she was allowed to live in freedom. I can't believe they have to wear shoes and socks all summer long here in stinking hot Queensland! But I guess we have to take the good with the bad and I am enjoying this mild May weather ;o)
    I've only got a few May posts left to read and then I've viewed your entire blog :o)


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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