I own a lot of socks…I have 3 sock drawers, one for favourite dark socks, one for favourite white socks,
and a drawer for all the socks that aren’t in the two favourite drawers but I can’t bear to give up.
The thing is…
- I love to look at socks and buy socks
- I love how new, soft, cushy socks feel
- I hate to match socks after they go through the laundry
- I hate to wear socks unless I have to
- I hate to wear shoes with my socks so I often walk outside with my socks on and no shoes
- I live in Canada so going without socks is not terribly normal most of the year
- I wear sandals (with no socks) to martial arts almost year-round, regardless how cold it is although when there is more than an inch of snow, I give in and wear socks and shoes
- I was convinced to buy UGG boots last year when the salesperson told me they are meant to be worn without socks…freedom
I have always let my kids go outside either barefoot, or with socks on and no shoes – this has caused many moms on my street to warn me of the dangers of kids going outside with no shoes on because they might step on broken glass. When anyone says this to me, I ask when the last time was that they saw broken glass on our street. This helps to explain why my husband is the social director of our house, and not me.
My son likes to have one sock on, and one off. I don’t know why, but he has done this since he was about one year old and able to pull the sock off. For about 13 years now, if you see him inside it is almost a given that he will have on only one sock. This results in his socks being found everywhere from his travels – under the couch, on the computer table, beside his seat at the kitchen table, at the front door, inside his backpack, and laying on his bedroom floor – and this is not contained to our house. You will notice I did not say in his hamper.
My daughter wears two socks or no socks. If it’s warm out, her socks also come off in various rooms but they are at least thrown off and land in odd spaces in pairs. When it is cold, she likes to go to bed with her socks on and have me “peel them off” her feet when I kiss her and say goodnight.
When the kids were small, I just kept the socks in a basket by the door. This allowed me to put them on just before we headed out. If I dressed them upstairs, there was 0% chance there would be 4 socks on 4 feet when it was time to leave. There was the one time though, even this plan did not work and we were 3 blocks from my mother-in-law’s house for Christmas dinner when I noticed my son had no socks on. We had to stop at a dollar store and buy him some socks quickly so she wouldn’t feel the need to take over parenting of these kids whose parents didn’t know enough to put socks on a kid in the middle of winter when they were going to a family holiday dinner. (I might not have blamed her for jumping to that conclusion…even I thought he had gone too far.)
I recently mentioned the sock practices in our house to a friend. She was aghast…articulating how when people go outside barefoot and come in the house, they are tracking all that dirt around the house. And when people go outside in socks and tromp around the house later, and put those socks on the couch, everything they’ve stepped in is carried inside and the socks need washed, and …it’s just odd.
I smiled and agreed, and then said I was okay with that because I see the house as a place to live our life. There are so many rules for when we are out in the world, but we can relax those rules at home. I’ll never get an award for housekeeper of the year, but I know my kids won’t suffer for that. In my mind, I also thought about how I believe the ability to walk through life in socks or no socks whenever the mood strikes provides a freedom that enhances joy and creativity.
When I am on vacation and it’s warm, that first step outside barefoot is just like a little slice of heaven.