the gift of socks on the stairs

My kids come home from school, kick off their shoes, throw their socks and leave their bags in the front entryway. It can become a walking hazard due to the amount of stuff stripped off of them upon entering the doorway.

Let me tell you this – I’ve told them to not do that. Probably a good hundred times.  I have told them to put their backpacks against the side of the wall and their shoes in the bucket and the socks at least on the steps on the way up to the washing machine.

It hasn’t worked.

It used to really annoy me. Well, it still does, and I still wrestle with these feelings of if I was a good mom they would do what I tell them to do or you are not strict enough and your children will grow up to be slackers… but then I go up that flight of stairs, down the hallways, in my room and finally in my closet.

And there it all is.

Stuff. From living.

Socks on the floor next to my bed that I kicked off when I was just about ready to fall asleep. My purse on the floor. My computer bag on the bench in my office. A sweatshirt left next to my dresser. Empty sparkling water cans on the nightstand.

And in that moment, I have the perspective of grace. And more than that, in that moment I also realized how cool it must be for my kids – those moments of coming home – of working all day long and just getting to be. You know what I mean? That just getting to be and kick of your stuff and be happy you are home space in life.

Without expectations and places to go and things to do.

So as I looked around I realized they just needed to be for a minute.

Now, instead of judging or getting irritated I pick up the socks and put them on the steps. I kick over the backpacks to the wall and the shoes to the bucket. They know eventually they need to get put away. They know they can’t stay there.

But, I’m giving that moment, that breath, that joy of being home.

Oh, that sweet sweet moment of home and freedom.

I love them for them in this moment.

Listen: they don’t do it to annoy me. They do that because they are safe here. Free. Loved. And when I tell them after a bit to bring the socks upstairs and throw them in the washing machine, they always do.

Sometimes perspective teaches.

And this time? This time it taught me to stop harping and instead to start seeing that shoes and socks kicked off aren’t because they don’t love me or respect the rules, but rather are simply because, just like me, they are home.

Socks don’t matter in the long run.

Perspective does.


7 Responses to “the gift of socks on the stairs”

  1. January 9, 2018

    Melissa Main Reply

    This is so awesome…. I always want my home to be the safe, warm, and cozy place that my kiddos want to come home to. I struggle with this on the daily.. as I teach piano and voice lessons out of my home… I don’t have to for financial reasons.. my hubby makes plenty. I don’t even have a degree in music.. but, rather a degree in communications.. and ironically, I spent 11’years as a stock broker.. after much struggling to be relevant in that world (being a blonde and young looking woman).. by the time I left the industry to have my first child.. I was killing it as a stockbroker.. they nicknamed me “The Barricuda”. Anyhow, I teach because most of my students could not aftord to take lessons elsewhere ( I charge about the same price as wheat my mom payed for my lesson during the 1980’s.) The tricky part for my life now is.. when my kiddos get off the bus.. that is when my first student is arriving.. and my kids have to be upstairs in their rooms, so that I can teach. Sometimes my kids will voice their irritation for this.. and I hope they don’t look back on my teaching with bitterness. There are days when I feel this will happen in the future. I teach piano to an autistic 16 year old.. He has the mentality of a four year old, and I have made little progress on the piano with him in two years, but he loves piano lessons more than anything else… even more than coloring with new crayons… and that is huge!! I teach piano to a 15 year old girl who is going blind.. I don’t know what will happen when she is 100% blind, but, we will cross that bridge someday. I have another student, he is five, and he is partially deaf.. and sometimes struggles with certain aspects of piano that I have to reaearch for hours to try to overcome. I have 11’other students as well.. and I am learning to teach as I go. I took 16 years of piano lessons and 8 years of voice lessons.. but, I never took lessons in teaching.🤗 I do, however, know how to talk to kids, even if they just want to talk about all of my tattoos and piercings. So, my struggle is… hoping my kiddos… and my husband of 18 years ( who I married after three weeks of dating)… I wish, hope, and most of all…’pray that they will see my heart… and don’t mind having to go to their rooms as soon as they get home. I hope the snacks and cozy clothes laid out for them in their rooms when they have to go up there… I hope that is enough. So… u and me… same hope for our families… different struggles to get there. Thank you for sharing your heart and your wisdom.💚

  2. January 9, 2018

    Amanda Reply

    Thank you! Perspective makes all the difference in seeing what you’re looking for.

  3. January 9, 2018

    Erin J Reply

    I love this. This is a challenge at my house too, but I love the grace you are giving them. I am always talking to my kids about their bedrooms and how we all feel better when our spaces are tidy, but my own bedroom is not tidy. I do so want our home to be a safe haven for my family after a long day of school/work. Thank you.

  4. January 9, 2018

    Kelly Reply

    Thank you for this! It speaks so true to what I deal with on a daily basis and I love this perspective! Have been reading you for awhile and I appreciate your gift of reaching other moms through your words!

  5. April 19, 2018

    Regina Reply

    Love this and so true! Thank you for sharing. We will look back when our children are grown and wish for a piece of this back.

  6. February 19, 2019

    april Reply

    and one day you will miss those socks so very much. 😢

  7. February 19, 2019

    Lurah Reply

    The day suddenly comes when they head off to drive themselves to school, they leave for college and then have their first apartment & job. A great companion walks into the picture & then they’re off down the wedding aisle. Be glad for the socks on the stairs.

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