Kgirl Testdrive: Naot 'Be Happy' Shoes

Here’s something I love: cute shoes.

Here’s something else I love: sustainable products.

So here’s something I fell in love with at first sight: my new Naot shoes.

When the good people at Naot contacted me to see if I would like to try out a pair of this season’s new cutie pies, I did not hesitate to say yes. Naot is a company that I have supported, trusted and spent my money on for years, and really? Nothing says, Hello spring! like a new pair of shoes.

So Naot sent me the catalogue, and let me tell you something – if you thought that Naots were only for hippies with orthopedic issues, you have not checked out a Naot catalogue lately.

I mean, look at these:

How about these?

It was a hard decision to make, one punctuated with incredulous cries of, REALLY? I can pick ANY one I want?! Plus a certain number of little squeals, but in the end, I picked a pair that suited me to a T:

Are these not the cutest things you’ve ever seen? And check it – they are called, Be Happy, which I thought was very fitting.

Then I realized that my cute cranberry-hued Be Happys are part of the Naot Green line, which made them even yummier. Here’s a few things I love about my new shoes:

* So cute – just my style, and I bet your style is somewhere in here, too
* The footbed is made of sustainable cork, which is already molding to my otherwise wonky feet
* My feet do not sweat in these shoes
* They are just as comfortable barefoot as they are with socks on
* SO cute (did I already mention that?)

I am really looking forward to wearing these shoes with a sundress, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be making an appearance at BlogHer this year. They have quickly become a staple of my wardrobe, and I thank Naot whole-heartedly for making a product that I can stand behind – er, on.

Seriously, you should walk a mile in my shoes.



Last night, I joined some of my favorite people at the Gardiner Museum to spend two hours doing pottery. I had eagerly accepted the invitation when it was offered, but on my way down, I was skeptical. While I thought it would be fun, I knew that I was really not a very visually creative person, and I thought I would suck at it.

And I did. I mean, I managed to manipulate my meager talents into a vessel that artistically benefited from a rough and gloriously indelicate hand, but that was more about understanding my limitations than soaring creatively.

But at the end of the evening, sculpted clay in front of me, I looked at my grey, chalky hands and thought, I loved this. I loved my rough, cute little creation and the fact that I had made it with my own two hands. I loved that my own two hands were filthy. Dirty.


Dove is messy. She and her sister can sit next to each other, in front of identical plates of food, armed with identical utensils and only a slight difference in motor-skill ability, and begin to eat, but the differences between the two by the end of the meal, are staggering. Bee will pick at her food in between storytelling, never one to pass up the opportunity to regale a rapt (and trapped) audience. She will soon ask to be excused, sporting a smudge of grated cheese on the apple of her cheek, or perhaps a swipe of tomato sauce on her upper lip. The spot where she sat will need only a cursory wipe during cleanup.

Dove, in comparison, will be almost unrecognizable. She will eat with speed and gusto and exuberance, asking for seconds and often thirds and perhaps she needs so many refills because only approximately 2/3 of the food she is served makes it into her mouth. The rest, well, look around. What is not on her lap, the floor, the table or her shirt is in her hair. Each night I am surprised anew at her ability to paint herself and her surroundings so thoroughly with her supper. Proudly she smiles, and that is when I notice her neck…


My garden is begging to be touched. The earth cries out to be turned, to be massaged; to be utilized. The plants and seeds I have already bought sit on the porch whispering, Don’t forget about me. I look at my desperate garden bed and blink quickly – the earth is literally undulating, reaching out for me, trying to raise itself up towards my hands. I swallow, and an earthworm breaks the surface, soil shifting off its back. I smile at my own ability to trust the impossible.

This weekend we will pull the weeds and trim back the remnants of last year’s foliage. We will rearrange the earth with our fingers before we plant the new flowers and seeds and begin to once again coax beauty from the sun-warmed soil. Our jeans will end up patched with grey and green and our faces will no doubt be smudged with black and when we look at our hands, there will be soil under our fingernails and in the creases of our palms and we will be equal and unabashed in our filthiness. Dirty.




She ushers her adoring sister down the stairs in the morning and pours them both cereal. She takes herself to the bathroom, even in the middle of the night. When she draws people, they look like people. She wants to know how everything is spelled, and more and more often, she can tell me before I tell her. This weekend, she made her own Mii so she could bowl with her great-grandparents on her own, and for her little person, she chose the biggest smile available and a clip to keep the hair out of her eyes.

In a few weeks, Bee will turn five.

I could write a whole lot about being a mother to a five year old, and I could write a whole lot more about that five year old, but what I am being struck by as we both approach this crazy anniversary is, more than anything, how things have suddenly changed.

We are – Bee is – completely immersed in a new phase, and how we got here is not leaving me nearly as gobsmacked as the fact that we are here. We are here, in this new place where infancy and babyhood and toddlerhood and preschoolhood is behind us. We are here, in this unmapped place where I find myself floundering a bit for a foothold while Bee dances breezily past me and straight into this new place, this new phase, this… childhood.

I am determined not to let the melancholy of my sentimentalism block the door this new place. As she looks back at me for reassurance before venturing forward, I will nod in gentle encouragement, but the truth is, she probably won’t look back. She will probably bound forward, sure of herself; moving instinctually into and around and through friendship and learning and exploring and laughing and mentoring and imagining; jumping over roadblocks, never questioning her joy.

I will try so hard to mother her knowing that this – this new childhood, this place where there is still so much to discover and rebellion is doled out in antics that her parents still laugh about in the privacy of their adulthood – this is gold-spun sugar, and it is so sweet and so precious, and oh, ye gods of parenting, please don’t let me fuck this up. These are finally days she will remember and please, please, let her remember them with a smile, but first, let us live them with a smile and a laugh and happiness and love.

In a few weeks, Bee will turn five, and though she mewled, brand new in my arms mere moments ago, we are now here, in this new place.

In a few weeks, Bee will turn five, and I am going to smile at my beautiful daughter, and we’re going to hold hands and hopscotch together into her childhood, and we’re not going to look back.