Wearing His Socks


I love to come home, change clothes and put on a pair of socks. There is just something comforting about having warm feet, call me crazy. It’s especially wonderful after being in a pair of heels walking around all day. The problem with socks is this…you have to sort them, and I believe that to be from the devil himself. Let me make it clear, I hate to sort socks, probably because I can never get it right. I always end up with a gigantic mess, big feet in little socks and little feet in big socks, it truly makes for a disastrous morning in my fast paced life. My solution was simple, no more sorting socks, we will just put them in a laundry basket and everyone sorts them as needed. It’s sort of an every man for himself philosophy. What is even better about my new philosophy is it worked, or at least for a little while until we got down to the bottom of the basket and “you know who” hadn’t done any laundry.

This is when I made my discovery, something that would change life as I knew it. I had selected my pair of socks after a long day at work, really not paying any particular attention. That is when it happened. I put on the first sock; I can remember thinking “wow, these fit really great, nice and snug. I don’t remember seeing these before”. The next group of thoughts came so rapidly I almost felt like I was in fast forward and slow motion at the same time and went something like, “wonder where these socks came…oh no, that can’t be…since when did his foot get…oh my gosh, I can wear his socks”.

Those of you with older boys can totally appreciate this scenario, I’m sure you have lived it yourself, and you know what comes next. The flashback starts with your new sock partner being a baby and selectively cuts to those important moments that you have shared with him throughout his life, and ends with him standing before you. He has inadvertently walked into the room just in time to witness your near mental breakdown. He has a strange look in his eye, I’m sure it is because he is trying to decide if you have finally lost your mind, or if he is about to get fussed at for one of a million things that he has or has not done. As I pulled myself back into reality I realized at that moment that this is the beginning of the end. So many wonderful and exciting things are before us, and at the same time I know that I have to start letting go. I have to start letting him become who it is that he is going to be.

Thinking back on that event, when I realized that my baby wasn’t a baby anymore, I have to wonder what Mary felt. Could such an insignificant thing on my part give some insight into what Mary felt when she realized that her baby was growing up?   The story can be found in Luke 2: 41-52, if you have not read it in a while take some time to read it now.  The Boy in the Temple, what a wonderful picture God paints for us and how a parent’s love has not dramatically changed. I love this story, but I believe Luke 2: 51b tells us a lot about Mary, even in her worry and anger the Bible tells us  “but his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”  She knew what lay ahead for her son. How does a Mom even begin to cope with those truths? The only answer I have is this, “but for the grace of God, go I”.

The best part of wearing his socks is that I can now make out, every once in a while, the man he will become. Those brief moments, glimpses into the future, which make me realize that try as I might, who he is and who he will become is totally up to God. No more and no less.


Beth Shumate