I wouldn’t have been in the hospital on Mother’s Day, if not for the socks. Sock Management is a full time job, which does not allow for trivialities like bronchitis or doctor’s visits.
Some believe that socks are vaporized into lint, by mysterious clothes-dryer forces, but this is pure nonsense. The truth is that if you don’t stop them, socks will migrate under the bed and reproduce exponentially.
Mothers need to keep abreast of sock activity; after all, socks are the reason God made us, so I ignored the hacking cough until I found myself in a hospital bed, gasping for air. “It’s pneumonia,” the doctor said to my husband. “She’s going to be here a few days.”
A few days? Rogue socks could take over the world in the course of a few days. By the time I was discharged, the entire sock-wearing world would be walking around in Birkenstocks.
I tried to object, but Nurse Judy shot mysterious fluids into my IV line, which encouraged the growth of moss on my brain. Within five minutes, I had forgotten how to blink and to swallow, much less talk. The best I could do was “Ah-mee-doo-da-shosh,” before I fell into a vegetative state.
The following morning, Nurse Judy reappeared with more brain moss. “Time to wake up! We have to take our pain medicine.” I don’t know why she bothered waking me, just to knock me out again. Five minutes later, I was slobbering on myself.
Mossy brain, or no mossy brain, I had a responsibility to mankind: “The sosh … scosh …socks” I stuttered. “Must… stop … the socks.”
“Yes, dear” She picked up my chart and wrote “delusional” across the page. “You need to rest now.” Rest would have to wait, because just then, my family arrived for a visit. The girls perched in a row, on the empty bed next to me.
“Oh hey, you’re little birdies, aren’t you?” I cooed. “Here, birdie, birdie … come give Mommy a hug. They didn’t budge, but I heard the little one whisper to her sister, “Are you sure that’s Mommy?”
“Of course I’m Mommy, little bird. I’m your mother. I’m the Queen of Birdie Mothers, and this is my nest. Do you like my nest, little birdie?”
My husband interrupted me. “We brought you some lunch.” He said. “Go ahead, girls, give Mommy her sandwich.”
The middle child crossed the room tentatively, dropped the sandwich on my tray, and scooted back to safety.
I found the contents of the bag to be very exciting. “A club sandwich! And a pickle! Wow!” I tried to take a bite of the enormous sandwich, but I was having a hard time finding my mouth, and most of it flopped out of the bread and onto my lap. It touched my heart that they had remembered my favorite sandwich, so I began to cry. “I don’t deserve such wonderful children.” I sobbed.
“Mom … you’ve got a tomato on your neck.” I fumbled for it, found it, and stuck it in my pajama pocket.
“Why don’t we put the sandwich away for later.” My husband suggested. “Let’s open presents.”
“Open mine first,” the little one said, and climbed up into my bed.
“Look how pretty you are in your sundress and … and … where are your socks?”
My worst fear had been realized. “Where are the socks? Are they under the bed? Have you let the socks under the bed? Oh Lord, have mercy on us!” I cried. “We’re all done for!”
“It’s 90 degrees outside, dear,” my husband said. “She wanted to wear sandals.”
“And the socks …?”
“The socks are all washed, dried and put away.” He assured me. “I saw to it.”
“You’re sure? You’re not just saying that?”
“Yes, dear, I’m sure.”
I lay back on my pillow, confused. Had I been wrong? Were socks not the threat I once thought them to be? What would this mean to the job security of Mothers around the world? Were we no longer needed?
“Here, Mommy … open it.” My daughter thrust a homemade card into my hand, and all of my fears and concerns about socks and motherhood melted away.
It read, “Please come home soon, Mommy, ‘cause we need your love. Happy Mother’s Day.”
I drifted asleep, smiling and secure in my newfound knowledge: Socks come and go, and are soon forgotten, but a mother’s love is always remembered.
After all, love is the reason God made us.
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