As a busy mom, I wash most of my family’s dirty clothes during the weekend. It piles up on top of the dryer until one of my three kids fold and put things away or I do. The first option usually ends up with some bargaining and handing off the chore to someone else.

Why can’t you just do what you’re asked? I think as I empty the trash after many failed attempts to get another kid to do so.

They always leave the socks. It’s a messy pile and icon really. Can’t find any socks in your room? Check the dryer. Can’t find a match for that blue sock? Check the dryer. Can’t find a paper towel to clean off the kitchen counter? Go to the next room and grab a sock from the pile.

There are socks my kids have held on to despite them being too small for their growing feet. There are slipper socks that have been worn once maybe. There are Mom’s running socks that somehow make their way to her daughter’s sock drawer. There are socks that have been turned into a lethal weapon.

If you need proof, stop by my house and ask my oldest son about his sock mace. Basically, you get the longest sock you can find, get other long socks and tie them into knots. Stuff the second batch of socks into the first one, all the way to the bottom, until you get a nice sized ball. Tie the ball off and you can swing it around like a sock mace.

Boy does that thing hurt, even when someone isn’t really trying to attack you.

After a few days, we unstuff the mace and untie the socks. They are usually matches to something in our dryer’s sock pile. Hopefully, they aren’t stretched too bad and we wash the socks. All these pairs of matching socks magically appear! Tada! *jazz hands*

My mom never had a problem with washing socks. I wonder how she got her socks to behave? Maybe I’m a bad sock parent!

There are memories in these socks. Trips with grandma for a shopping spree for my daughter’s 12th birthday. Bad socks that formed blisters during a far away adventure in which I forgot to pack running socks. I brought some stuff at a cheap store and I felt it.

The long yellow socks we got for free when we really needed some before the school year started. The ones that don’t have a match because I used them to clean up something.

The pile of mismatched socks is used for emergencies by everyone who just needs something before slipping on their shoe. Green Minecraft socks with Harry Potter socks?! As long as they’re the same thickness, I don’t care that they don’t match.

The pile is a sign of mess and my inability to control the chaos that is our home.

But that chaos is beautiful, like the many colors piled on my dryer. They’re just waiting for a chance to brighten our perfectly, imperfect day.