Mismatched Memories + the Sock Pile

I am a mess. Not is a debilitating way, but messy. All parts of my life are just not put together the way some people I know compulsively keep things in order. I have always wondered how they do it. Judged myself on why I can’t seem to keep it all together. 

The not being able to keep it together came to me while folding the laundry basket full of unmatched socks. I decided it was time to ditch the old socks that on one wares anymore. Toss out the ones without a mate. I decided to take on a minimalist approach to the sock basket organization. Did these socks bring me joy? If not, it was out of the house! 

I sort the socks into piles.

I would toss the matched ones into piles for each of the five family members. The ones that were on their way out got tosses carelessly behind me. This one is too small for the baby who is now 3, this one is too stained, this one is too worn out. 

With each sock that I tossed behind me old memories would surface in my mind. A image, or sound, or smell from the past decade of parenting. Those socks were gifts. Those socks two kids love but the last hated, those I paid too much money for, those were left behind from our friends. Each sock had a story. I had been saving these socks that no one wares.

My oldest kid (who at the time of this writing was 9) is outgrowing the largest kid size clothing. Today I bought her adult sized shoes and they fit!

I realized that I have been buying her items that are too small, and she outgrows them instantly. I am not ready for her to grow up.

This is a Threshold. Let them grow up!

Back to the piles of grubby socks. This is a hard realization for me because I am not sentimental about stuff. I judge those who keep things for too longNow look at me. Hoarding mismatched socks of all things. These socks do bring me joy! 

I am not interested in having another baby. I love the people my kids are becoming, I like my sleep, and the growing amount of time that I have to dedicate to my profession.

Why is tossing out the old socks brining up so much emotion for me. 

Instantly I have a new found compassion for the women I know who save everything.

There is a feeling many parents have when their second baby is on the way, a fear that they will not be able to love the second child as much as the first. It always works out that the heart expands and the abundance of love overflows. 

I know that abundance is possible, but in this moment I feel the fear of limited love. As my babies get older will I be able to love them more or enough. As they grow further away from me in both time and space, and I grow my life away from them, will we remain connected?

My heart is bursting open with how much I want to be with them, touch them, listen to them, and teach them.

This exploding love that I feel has got me sitting alone crying over a heap of old socks and it feels SO good.

This pile of worn fabric has touched my family nearly each day for the past decade. They do bring me joy and they need to go to make room for the new memories. I can let go knowing that with each step memories have been imprinted on our souls.

About Amity Kramer

Amity Kramer has been helping families cultivate unconditional love since 2008. She is a Birthing From Within Mentor, Certified Gottman Educator, and founder of Thresholds. Amity leads soulful workshops for families in transition. She also is a practicing birth and postpartum doula which gives her a unique window into the joys and struggles of family life.

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