Small Business Sunday - Leroy's Boots
When you have a child, you pray that every little part of them will be perfect – or what you perceive to be as perfect. Sometimes, things don’t always go as we wish and we’re presented with challenges along the way.
When Lauren Christie was pregnant with her second son, Leroy, she found out that he was to be born with a clubfoot. What is a clubfoot, you ask? It is a congenital deformity of the foot, twisting the foot downwards and inwards from the ankle. Following the diagnosis, Lauren and her husband then became unlikely passengers on a rollercoaster ride of doctors visits, and treatment options.
At just four days old Leroy had a cast on his affected leg from groin to toes, which was changed twice a week for 3 months prior to being fitted with a special set of boots and a bar which he wore for 23 hours a day in an effort to straighten his feet so that he could learn to walk. Lauren decided to write a story about Leroy and his boots to help raise awareness for clubfoot and to also fundraise for Miraclefeet, with all profits now heading their way!
Lauren’s lighthearted book helps us understand that even though Leroy and his family were going through a very tough time, dealing with being different and ‘one being not like the other’ that that was ok. Leroy goes on adventures during the night when he has his boots on and lives out his fantasies – why? Because he can. Because he’s not going to let these boots and bar stop him from achieving.
I think particularly in this day and age, teaching our kids it is ok to be different, is absolutely crucial. Even at 5 years old, my daughter questions why she can’t do this or that when another child can. We are doing our very best to teach her that everyone is different. Some people are better at other things that her, whilst she is better than others in other pursuits. Leroy’s Boots explores this concept in a gentle way that can definitely be related to any difference in appearance, behaviour or skills in a child’s life. It reinforces the notion that you can be what you want to be no matter who you are, what you look like, or what challenges you’re going through and I think that is essential when everything is so focused on being ‘like’ others, and the competitiveness of the popularity contest that is social media.
Leroy’s Boots is an easy to read book, with beautiful illustrations that will make any parent or child appreciate the opportunities they have and seek to make the most of their lives. I highly recommend it.