The Large Family Sock Conundrum*. I am just going to assume that any and all families with three or more kids experience this.
*conundrum: a confusing and difficult problem or question
We have been through many the many stages of the Large Family Sock Conundrum.
Stage One: 1 child = cute matching socks
Stage Two: 2 children = cute matching socks for boys, cute matching socks for girls
Stage Three: 3 children = any two socks = a pair
Stage Four: 4-6 children = find your own darn socks, they’re all in a basket
Stage Full Blown Crazy: 7 or more children = Socks?! You’re lucky to have three hots and a cot. Here’s some yarn, go knit your own.
Except (some of) my kids expect socks and even want clean ones every day. Others, I have to force (under the threat of extra chores or oatmeal for breakfast) to get them to wear socks. It’s not that I care about their feet so much as the putrid smell that I know will erupt if I let them wear their shoes sockless.
We have tried various methods of managing socks. Years ago a woman told me she managed socks by buying all plain sports socks; white for the girls and black for the boys. This makes sense, and we did this for a while. The problem I ran into was, when I went back to buy new socks every two or three months, there was always some small change, even when I stuck to the same brand. They either added a colored line…or a gray toe, or something. As if they were purposely foiling my carefully orchestrated Sock Plan.
After that I was forced to assign random sock styles to people. I mean, I am all for kids of similar shapes, sizes and genders sharing socks. But with a (current) age range of 4-17 in the house, clearly sharing socks is not an option. For a few years it has worked well to buy Judah white ankle socks and Enoch black ankle socks. They suddenly took ownership and would tenderly gather their own (folded) socks and place them in their overstuffed drawers, like a small flock of fluffy cotton offspring. Or something.
For a few months I have been storing all folded socks in a large bin in a cupboard in our living room. Kids who care can come grab “their” pairs and kids who don’t still have socks. The problem with this method is, I have a certain 12-year-old child who will wear any socks. It doesn’t matter if they belong to four-year old Apollo or Chuck. A sock’s a sock, right?
It seems, my friends, that not everyone agrees with that sentiment. We recently had a
small, quiet disagreement World War III over Someone wearing Someone Else’s socks. Tears were shed. Angry words were spoken. Fluffy bunnies died. Okay, not really, but it kind of seemed that way.
Bright and early the next morning I hopped online and ordered $138 worth of Bombas Socks. Why Bombas? I had seen them on a couple of blogs I read recently and checked out their site. Not only are their socks cool looking, but they donate a pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. I initially ordered a few (a few in this case being 8; we are a large family after all) pair of socks to try them out. At $8 or $9 a pair, they are not the cheapest option, but I’ve found in my large family quality is often less expensive in the long run than cheap.
We loved them. Tilly called them Heaven on Feet. No, I’m not kidding. The bottoms are thicker than the cotton socks I’ve been buying. They have the slightly form-fitting shape that my kids love. They have enough variety in color and style (ankle or calf) that everyone can have their own. They are stylish. They are lovely.
So the morning after the Sock War at our house, I ordered 20 more pair. Oh yes I did. Now each child has their own color and style of Bombas socks. Sorting and folding is a breeze, my basket of folded socks looks beautiful, and most importantly: no more Sock Wars!
And we donate 20 pair of socks to a homeless shelter. It’s win-win.
What’s the point of this post? I love Bombas socks and wanted to share them with you.