Vintage Slice 18
June 18, 2013
A sock was my undoing. A single sock and it rocketed me straight into a person I don’t want to be. It started brewing when I looked outside and saw all all four of them playing baseball in their pajamas. Andy promised to get them ready to leave so I could spend the morning writing, but now we were twenty minutes from leaving and they were playing baseball. In their pajamas.
You don’t need to know the gory details (and I don’t need to rehash them), but let it suffice to say it was hands down my worse moment in history as a mother. All because there were four feet and three baseball socks. I’m pulling out an entire load of half-wet clothes in hopes that the sock (which I made sure went from soak bucket to washer to dryer) was still in the dryer.
“What’s going on?”Andy asks, completely oblivious that I’m unraveling.
Instead of seeing an ally, I can’t get past the three socks. “You promised to have them ready. You said I could write and you would take care of them. They’d be ready.”
“I am. They’re playing baseball in the yard so you can have a little quiet to write. Why are you in here?”
It must have been the wild look in my eye that makes him ask again, “What’s going on?”
“I’m losing it over a sock,” I say.
Then it got worse. I’m fighting-mad. Ungrateful. Wretched.
It ended in the garage, when I see his bewildered face. I know if I stop myself, breathe, and pause I would look the same. Bewildered.
Who am I and where did this just come from? He waves me to him. Steps closer. I yield. Get out of the car and slam the door. Walk to him.
“What’s going on?” he says again.
I’m ready to deliver another string of rants, but instead I say, “You said they’d be ready, but there were only three socks.”
“The fourth one was on top of the dryer.”
I lift an eyebrow. There isn’t much space for a sock to hide on top of our dryer. There is a photo, a bowl of treasures from pockets and a stack of dish towels.
I’m still fighting-mad.
He hugs me. “It was under control,” he says, his breath warm on the top of my head.
I nod because I know.
And I’m left wondering how in the last 14 minutes I became the kind of person who crushes souls. Why didn’t I just snap a picture of the pajama-clad Saturday morning baseball game spurred on by a husband who loves to give me a sweet Saturday morning of stacking words? How did I miss the beauty in the moment?
Maybe because it wasn’t really about the sock. It was about me trying to get it right, trying to do too much, and feeling overwhelmed.
Forgetting I’m not in control (and Andy isn’t either) of this little life. I want a life that makes much of God. When I’m the one taking control, I have a life that makes much of a mess. It’s a mess when a momma comes undone by a sock.
Perhaps after baseball season, I’ll hang one of those socks where I can see it. It’ll keep me humble, reminding me it is only by grace that I’m here and that without grace, I am wretched. I’m always close to missing the blessings. I’ll also be reminded of the pajama-clad baseball game and how I almost missed what it really was — not the catalyst to being late, but a blessing.
A blessing. Maybe, just maybe, the sock can be a blessing too. Because I never want to lose 14 minutes like that again. Life is fragile. Family is special. And I want my life to make much of Him.
(Remarkably, we weren’t late to the baseball game. We all arrived in decent spirits and with four socks! And how did Andy have so much patience with me? I asked too. His response — “I knew we would laugh about this later because it was so odd you were acting that way.”)