Monday, January 21, 2013

A pair of socks

A couple of years ago I took the girls to the Bean Museum on BYU campus. We'd come into campus with Andrew so we parked where he was parking and then unloaded the stroller and walked all the way up to the museum. It was chilly and rainy and once we were there I noticed that Miriam was missing one of her socks.

I was rather upset about this not only because it was chilly and rainy and my baby now had bare feet but also because I really hate to lose things.

We looked for Miriam's sock in the museum but didn't find it so before we left I pulled into a corner and announced that we were going to say a prayer about Miriam's sock.

"About a sock?" Rachel verified.

"About a sock," I nodded.

We said our prayer and discussed how we are so important to Heavenly Father that even the littlest details of our lives are important to him. I wasn't sure what kind of miracle He'd turn our missing sock situation into—answers to prayer come in many forms and I'm often (pleasantly) surprised by the method Heavenly Father uses to give me exactly what I need.

To say I was expecting to find the sock would be an exaggeration. Finding the sock would have been the most obvious solution but there were many other ways to answer our prayer. We could have lost Miriam's other sock (two missing socks is better than one because there's no painful reminder that you lost something), I could have been blessed with peace (so that I wouldn't continue worrying about the sock), I could have come home to find that someone had left some hand-me-downs on our front porch (and a pair of socks could have been inside). See? Lots of ways to answer a prayer.

After we'd said our prayer I recited the adage that my mother would recite to me (and her parents would recite to her...and so on): Pray like everything depends on the Lord. Act like everything depends on you.

If we were going to find the sock, we'd have to look for it—I doubt the sock would snake its way across campus to us if we had just prayed and sat there—so out we went to retrace our steps.

As we were walking past the Marriott Center we found lying, on the sidewalk, a soggy little baby sock.

Miriam's sock, 2010
It wasn't the sock that Heavenly Father cared about. It was me.

I was worrying about the sock (silly as that sounds) so He worried about me.

Today I needed a refresher course in how much Heavenly Father loves me, I guess, because we went out hiking and when we'd gotten to the zenith of our trail loop we stopped to feed Benjamin and I took him out of the carrier and noticed for the first time that...

Diddle, diddle dumpling, my son Ben kicked off one of his socks again...
...he was missing a sock.

Benjamin was blessed with an abundance of itty-bitty newborn socks but only got a few pairs of hand-me-down medium-sized baby socks, which I've been quite meticulous about keeping track of. Needless to say, I was bothered that we'd dropped a sock on the trail. Don't ask me why because I have a whole box of matchless socks sitting in the laundry cupboard.... I suppose I feel like those socks will turn up somewhere (under the couch or between the mattress and the wall or inside one of Andrew's pant legs) but the socks we drop while we're out and about I hold little hope of ever recovering.

I thought about where we might have lost that sock while I was nursing him. I couldn't. I had no idea when or where it had dropped. So I said a silent prayer, put him back in the carrier, and absolutely cocooned him in his blanket (to prevent his other sock from falling off and to keep his bare foot warm).

Once we'd finished the loop and were backtracking to the trailhead we told the girls they had to be on the lookout for his sock, which could be anywhere. Along our way, we met up with a family heading the opposite direction.

"Oh, cute hair!" the woman gushed (which is what everyone says about Benjamin's little fuzz head) and then inhaled sharply before saying, "Wait—I saw a grey and blue bootie in a mud puddle a while back."

"You did?!" I asked, perhaps a little too excited.

"I guess that's yours then," the woman chuckled, noting the edge in my voice. "It's not too far back there, kind of on the left side of the trail."

We continued to make our way back to the trailhead, pausing to examine every mud puddle we came across for signs of a drowning baby sock. Finally, we spotted it!

By this time it had been pulled out of the mud and was sitting on the middle of a waterbar right behind the mud puddle. It was so caked with mud that we might not have found it if no one had been courteous enough to pluck it out of the muck for us.

Benjamin's sock, 2012
I do think it's a miracle we found it, considering we had three miles of trail to comb over for it. It's always been my experience that when I pray my prayers are answered. They aren't always answered immediately and they aren't always answered the way I imagine they'll be answered, but I do know that Heavenly Father takes time to answer my prayers...even when they're just about socks.

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