The Sock Basket

When my children were growing up and all three of them were playing sports year round, I did laundry daily.  Our washing machine never collected any dust in those days.


We had a small, pink laundry basket designated only for socks.  We still have it but my daughter has pressed it into use for other things.  Back in the day, it would regularly be full of clean socks in all sizes and colors.

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Because my boys are only two years apart in age and wore the same size, I bought them different brands and colors of socks so I could tell which socks belonged to each of them.  There would be large, black ankle basketball socks for one son and white ones for the other.  Depending on the time of year, there might be long and colorful baseball and softball socks in the basket.  Always, there would be my daughter’s tiny, ankle socks decorated with Disney princesses and any number of girlie designs.

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My husband contributed serious, dress up business socks in black or navy to the collection, along with his longer white, cotton socks from his gym workouts.  My socks were always an eclectic mix reflecting my previous week.  There might be lots of fuzzy, colorful socks or marled wool ones if I had spent a lot of time at home, and more subdued black and navy dressy socks if I had been doing volunteer work in the schools and in  the community.

The sock basket would fill up with freshly laundered socks every week or so, and I would grab it from the laundry room and sit on the floor with my back against the sofa and sort socks.  I would usually do this in the evening when I needed a break and I would say, “Who wants to help with the sock basket?”

Usually, there would be a chorus of “Not I’s” and then my second son, Ryan…that sweet middle child…would come ambling over to help.  We would chat as we matched the socks and I would enjoy those precious moments spent together with my son.  Sometimes, we made it into a competition where he did the girl socks and I did the boy socks.  He would usually cheat and hide a few of my socks behind him so he could win.

Invariably, the sock thief, sock monster, or gremlins of the dryer would have left us with some single, unmarried socks which would then go back into the basket in hopes that their mates would show up for the next round.

  • Sock Gremlin by PurpleVixen

We would have five piles of matched socks on the floor and call everyone to come and claim their own.  No fancy thing, but it was one of those special, fun times between parent and child where we had a few minutes together while we accomplished something useful.

Over time, it became a ritual of sorts for the two of us to tackle the “sock basket” together.  When Ryan left for college, there were only three of us left at home and the sock basket never seemed full enough to bother carrying it to the family room.  Some tasks are only fun because of the person who does them with you.

Many of you are still in those oh so busy parenting years with children where you continuously go from one thing to the next and at some point, you start over and do it all again…and again and again.  There’s so much to do and it feels like you will never get caught up.  Trust me, you will and, you will miss those days.

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While you have them at home with you, find your own special sock basket moments with your children.  Those moments are there…just waiting to be found.


One thought on “The Sock Basket”

  1. There’s one thing that is sure…..the sock gremlin definitely followed me to Indianapolis.

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