I remember the time when I could attend weddings and showers and innocently participate in games in which you get points for the number of baby boys and baby girls you are raising, or for the interesting items you carry in your purse. Most points get to eat first! I sometimes apologized to the rest of my table for dragging them down. Every time I look inside my purse, I can’t stop noticing the one thing that might give me points, but for all the wrong reasons: baby socks.
For the past four years, I have been carrying around two pairs of socks wherever I go. I have them at work, in the grocery store, at parties, and put them in my backpack when I go hiking. The one pair is pink with white stripes and the other pair blue with white flowers. I bought them when I started realizing what a miracle it is that we are all alive; when once again there had been a ‘joyful announcement’, and once again I had thrown a negative pregnancy test in the trash. If I wanted them gift wrapped? No, thanks…
I bought them to give me something I was lacking: Hope. Something to hold on to, month after month, year after year.
One day, my babies will wear these socks. However improbable, it’s going to happen. The socks have to be filled with little feet. Am I credulous? Naïve? Or have I just come to a point in life where living without hope has become impossible?
I wonder if it’s just hope, or if the socks are a symbol of faith: the certainty of the things we cannot see?
A few years, four doctors, and many pills and injections later, I have seen miracles happening. But the pink and blue socks are still living in my purse. The babies I carried didn’t need them. Where they are, socks aren’t necessary; who has cold feet in heaven anyway?
I didn’t throw them out, my little socks. I almost buried them but decided not to. I had buried enough.
I have to believe that when my complete family meets again, we will all walk on perfect streets of gold. Together, happy, alive. My precious babies, I never dressed will have to teach me the joys of walking barefoot, and show me what I missed out on when I was missing them.
I also have to believe that my pink and blue socks will be used. One day. I can’t give up. Not now. I bought my purse-socks when miracles were far out of sight, but now I have seen miracles happening! They weren’t the long-lasting miracles I had hoped for. Not the ones I can dress in cute dresses and matching socks, but they were, and still are, real!
Last weekend, when I was re-organizing my purse, I noticed the blue and pink is turning grey, and let’s not start talking about the smell, or the cookie crumb I found stuck in between two tiny socks. They should have been worn out by now, but they are still all stuck together with a plastic pin. Unused, mint condition, although not entirely odorless.
I will continue carrying my little socks around. They might not have been for my first babies, but will, one day, after a thorough washing, fit the perfect little feet.
—-Bio: I am a Northern British Columbia based writer. My fiction and short stories have been published in the Netherlands. After moving to Canada, I started blogging about my experiences in the North on www.survivingminus30.