Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rich in Socks

N-son is hard on his socks.  Actually, he's hard on all his clothes, staining everything and wearing holes in the knees of his pants in the usual boy way, but also performing peculiar acts of mutilation, such as chewing holes in the neck and sleeves of his shirts.  Socks are merely another casualty of the general clothing carnage.  Heels and ankles develop un-darn-able holes so regularly that my husband (the Lord of the Laundry) has stocked up on socks, much in the same way that every August, I put up jars of tomatoes for the long winter ahead.

One consequence of N-son's vast collection of socks is that our home has become the Where's Waldo? of the sock world.  Take a gander around our living room; and you're likely to see random socks . . . under the couch . . . in the train set . . . next to the dog bed.  Ditto for just about any other room, including of course N-son's bedroom.  There are good socks and bad socks, whole socks and hole-y socks, clean socks and ewwww.

Early this week N-son and I cleaned his room.  This was not the "productive-seeming-busy-work" kind of cleaning, where I send N-son to his room to rearrange and re-stack his piles while I work on math.  No, this was an intense, three-hour mommy-son-bonding version of cleaning of the room.  At the end, N-son complained that it was so devoid of junk piles that "my room echoes now".    It was that kind of cleaning.

At one point, we tackled the sock drawer.  I began with this little mantra on avoiding clutter.
How many pairs of socks do you actually need?  I think seven pairs ought to be enough.  If you have seven nice pairs of socks, we can throw away the socks that have holes or are totally gross, okay?
We spread all of his socks out on the floor and began sorting.  We counted out sets of "nice" socks . . . one, two, three, four, no--let's put this one in the "toss pile", five, six, seven.  Phew!

Then N-son picked up another pair of socks, and a look of dismay crossed his face.  "What's wrong, honey?" I asked.  "I like these socks," he said, "but I already have seven!"  His sorrow was evident.
Darling.  That's okay, darling.  You can keep them.  When you have enough socks to get by, you can get rid of the socks you don't like.  But also, if you have enough nice socks, and then you have even more nice socks, that's what it means to be rich.  You have enough, and a bit more. 
N-son, I told him, you are rich in socks.
This was exactly what he needed to hear.  These socks, he loves them, and they are his.  To be rich in socks; it's a good feeling.

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