Letting Go of Control Meant Mismatched Socks


I slowly learned how to let some things go and centre on the essentials, on loving and not maintaining a perfectly clean house with all the laundry folded in dresser drawers. I learned to let go of control in my daily life which spilled over into my inner life. Surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit within our spirits can seem like a rather esoteric activity, something to talk about, write about, and perhaps pray about but not part of our daily lives but our inner and outer lives are intricately entwined.

A funny example of letting go of control.

Fact: When eleven people wear 22 socks every day for a week  it means 154 individual socks to wash and pair every week.

Fact: The only thing that could kill you as a mother of a large family is pairing socks.sockdfgs

Socks Need To Be Paired? Or do they?

This was the brilliant question I asked myself one day.
There are solutions to the sock problem. Some are outrageous.
For example, I remember a crazy, campfire song, from my childhood, that we usually sang in rounds.
“Black socks, they never get dirty;
The longer you wear them, the blacker they get.
Some times, I think I should wash them
But something keeps telling me
Oh, not yet, not yet, not yet”
I did not seriously consider this option, though. After only one day stuck inside an active child’s running shoe, socks reek. I had 154 stinky socks to wash every week, at the bare minimum. Oh well, sometimes I did four loads of laundry a day and socks really didn’t take up that much room.
Still socks disappeared into mountains of laundry and I could never find them all. Do you have any idea where 154 socks can hide every week? I had to look between sheets, under Chesterfield and chairs, behind closet doors, inside wet boots, in school bags, under toy baskets, inside of pant legs and even, if I was lucky, in one of eleven dirty clothes baskets and still I could not find them all.

I had to pair all the socks! Or Did I? That was the brilliant, out of the box sort of question I asked myself one day.

New solution.

Buy lots of black socks in every size. Surely some semblance of a pair of socks would be easier to find.

That was the new plan.

I simply tossed the black socks into a wicker basket with a three-foot circumference and a height of two and a half feet and hoped for the best.
However, I had managed to overlook one important fact. I had six daughters. Little girls don’t like black socks. They like pink socks. To make matters worse my mother bought cute socks with frills and bows and patterns that the girls really needed and loved.

None of them were the same! So although I used the toss and throw method of pairing, some mornings found us frantically searching for some appearance of a pair.


At times, I had to literally toss the newly discovered pair over the upstairs railing. One of my kids, who already had their coat and school bag on their back, would catch them in mid-air. They quickly pulled on their socks, stuffed their feet into boots or shoes and flew out the door, barely making the school bus.

People joke about washing machines eating socks. Rationally, I know that this is a silly answer to my dilemma but the more I think about it, the better I like the whimsical answer.



I could kill myself trying to control everyone’s sock habits but really, life is much, more interesting if we relax a bit and joke about our failings and foibles. God seems to like those who realize they are failures because then He can finally save them from themselves.

linking to theology is a verb


14 thoughts on “Letting Go of Control Meant Mismatched Socks

      1. I still haven’t cashed the cheque yet- thinking YOU should be the one they are sent to. Oh I am being interviewed tomorrow, to be aired on Friday and i will be mentioning our book. Time to start marketing


  1. Boo socks! My husband is all for the one common colour idea. Though he gets fussy about mismatched socks (to which I’ve told him to suck it up or do it himself… He doesn’t mention it much anymore, oddly). My kids could hardly care any less at this point in their lives, thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have far less than 154, and even then I cannot keep up! It’s a daily challenge for me to not go ballistic seeing unpaired socks and socks peeking out of places they should not be peeking out from. Nevertheless, your post lights up an important reminder – to not fixate on something, be it socks or whatever, to the point I forget to love. Thank you, Melanie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My daughter stopped matching her socks (except for school uniforms, where it was required) in middle school. She actually asked me NOT to pair her socks when I did the laundry. And when one of my socks out of a pair is lost or torn, she gets the odd one because she’ll just mix it in with all her other socks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! I dress for work in the wee hours and in the semi dark. There’s been a few times I’ve pulled miss matching socks out of the drawer and gone to work like that. At least men’s socks are not too colorful. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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