The saying goes, “Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes”. But have you thought what stories those shoes could tell about their owner?
Ambrose State School chaplain, Melinda Ruge, at the suggestion of school principal, Andrew Collis, held a unique event for the mums and daughters at the school earlier this year, bringing them together around… their special shoes!
“We called the event Shoenique, and the girls had to come along wearing a unique pair of shoes that have a story attached to them,” Chappy Mel said.
She said the event was about community, building relationships, and appreciating each other.
“We were serenaded into the evening with guitar music played by the school principal, who also wrote and sang a song for the occasion. It was a huge success, with about 50 mums and daughters sharing their stories,” Chappy Mel said.
“We’ve had a lot go on in our school community recently with a prominent community member passing away, families with sickness and terminal illness… Everyone’s walk is different and none of us know or fully understands what it feels like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
“One of our teachers has been walking the journey of breast cancer and she came in wearing two different shoes, and she shared with everyone that the different shoes represented her walk before and after she found out she had cancer.”
Chappy Mel said this amazing teacher also shared about the importance of self care, which mums often struggle with because they’re so busy caring for everyone else.
“You need to take care of yourself first because if you don’t care for yourself, you can’t take care of someone else,” she said.
“We only sometimes see a small snippet of what’s going on in someone’s life and being able to walk alongside them is very rewarding.”
As well as sharing stories, Shoenique was also an opportunity for the daughters to show their appreciation for their mums.
“We never say how we appreciate someone until it’s too late, so I asked the girls if they wanted to stand up and say something nice about their mum. The response was overwhelming! We even had a couple of little girls in Grade 2 with a handwritten card with what they wanted to say,” Chappy Mel said.
And the mums of sons who came along didn’t miss out, thanks to Chappy Mel, who interviewed the boys and shared what they wanted to say.
“It was a really awesome evening. Everyone was so touched and I believe it has made us more aware of the importance of caring and showing love as we journey together.”