|The Infamous Sock Basket|
"Clean socks are overrated", said no one ever.
Inspiration can come in many forms. On the evening of August 27, 2014, I found such inspiration in the form of a sock basket. This is the said, infamous sock basket (above). Isn't it beautiful? As I pulled out my cellphone to take a photo of the array of brightly colored socks belonging to our four minions of both genders, I recalled a wondefully funny story...
Many years ago, when I had one still in size 1 diapers and another barely potty trained, I went to my sister-in-law's home. She had 5 children still at home and worked long hours at the local college library. I came upon a strange, but humorous depot of odd socks. One of her daughters, the second oldest, was searching through it trying to find a match to a sock. This was hilarious to me.
"What is this?" I asked.
"It's a sock basket, mainly for the long lost socks we can't find the matches to," she replied.
"Really?" I giggled.
While my question seemed innocent on the surface, what my "almost married three-years mind" thought was that I'd never stoop so low. Though my mother had something similar (but much worse), I knew that I would be above such atrocities in a well kept home. After all, I would never repeat the mistakes of my parents. Surely, my little girl (and the one just born), would quite simply put, have a better life. I did a pretty good job keeping up with the laundry with one and back then, I even washed, folded and put away my husband's clothes. I loved washing the baby clothes!
By the time I had the third child, the sock basket most likely appeared. It stayed fairly low and was often sorted through, so life hadn't hit too hard. I was blessed to be a stay at home Mom then and my main roles were housewife and mother. Life went on. At some point, I knew I had to finish my degree. So, I went back to school to attain my B.S.E. when #3 was about a year.
The house pretty much exploded.
I did do laundry, but it was always backed up. A few years later, I had our fourth child. He was born a few weeks early and came with me to a few finals (slept the whole time). By the time he was potty-trained, I went to work part-time for a small newspaper, partly for sanity and partly to pay the bills. The plan was to write from home and still be the stay at home Mom. But that only lasted a month or so. The paper needed a full-time reporter. We sometimes added another sock basket (for adult socks) and I will admit that my laundry often sat unfolded in baskets and/or on the coach. After almost 2 years of this, I went to work at a middle school to put my husband through school and get better in line with my kid's schedules. All of them were in school by then. The sock basket became a permanent, normal way of life.
I have come to love the sock basket; it's true. It keeps some matched and some unmatched socks. It also has seasonal socks, you know, for Easter, soccer and Christmas. I think about those early years when I made fun of my sister-in-law and have to laugh inside. Just like many things I've thought and said, that day came back to taunt me. It's pointing its finger at me, holding its stomach, and laughing uncontrollably.
I imagine that someday I will miss the infamous sock basket. With the oldest now a senior and the youngest exiting elementary, I really like to look at the range of clean and bright socks that it holds. I know with all my heart that the little socks will slowly disappear, and not because the washer ate them. So for now, I salute you sock basket. I salute my mother who had one, my sister-in-law and all of you. If you don't have one, maybe you are laughing. But whatever you do, don't laugh out loud and don't say a thing...