I Am Wearing Stolen Socks

I Am Wearing Stolen Socks

A Story by Tracie Skarbo
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When does a woman become a mother?

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I am wearing stolen socks.  Not because I haven’t any of my own, and not because they are an exact fit.  Only because they soothe my emptiness inside.  The owner of these socks I have robbed, will never miss them, they were tossed aside because of the hole in the toe of one.  I think they are perfect with this imperfection; it’s only an indication of wear and tear, something that defines us all.  They belong to my absent son.  I am amazed at how simple cotton can seem to fill the lonliness in my heart, as though it knows I need to feel closer to him, by any means necessary. 

 

I know it is only a pair of socks.  A pair he has left behind, unwanted.  But somehow knowing it once encompassed his flesh and warmed him makes all the difference in the world.  For I also at one time did the same.  The socks are much too big for me, the white fabric flops about my feet.  I smile; it seems like eons ago I was taking a black and white photo of his ten tiny toes to send with his birth announcement.  Yet my mind knows it was only mere years. 

 

When is it that a woman becomes a mother?  Science would tell us that it’s the point of conception, or when she comes to term.  I can’t help but wonder; it seems this is too simplistic.  After all, animals can conceive and birth yet not all of them stay to rear the offspring. 

 

Is it when she realizes that the life she has lived so far is no longer her own?  Is it by making the sacrifices needed:  staying up when they are sick, reading at bedtime, ensuring the essentials required.  Tending bumps, scrapes, broken hearts and dashed dreams.  Talking them through nightmares, picking them up from a party where they experience alcohol the first time, which is a nightmare of your own.  Then you remember you must have done something right because at least they called.

 

Or does a woman become a mother when she first realizes that this child, whom she would die for, will one day leave her for a life of their own?  That even though the child is of her, and she cares for them, the child is ultimately separate and must make their own way.  When she realizes that if she fights his battles for him she is robbing him of life experience, something he needs to progress and succeed in life. 

 

Is a mother born when the woman realizes that a little more each day, she must learn to let go?  No matter when the mother is conceived I know her role is never over, the grip of her hands never fully relax until she draws her last breath…

© 2010 Tracie Skarbo


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This is a fantastic piece. I think this is the questions so many mothers ask themselves. There are so many different styles of women on how they raise their children. What's right, wrong or indifferent? I know when I adopted my son so many people still stumble over the term "real Mother". They will say stuff like, Was his real mother this away? Well it used to annoy me a bit and I used to correct them. Then I realized that they do not know what else to say when they have questions. But I think Mother and father is a term we all use so loosely. Motherhood is about caring and loving your child. I think any person that mentors loves and puts their time into a child becomes a mother. Maybe a mother in the sense of the word a mother by proxy. But then there are some women who are biological moms who do not raise there children. You are so right though. It takes a lot more to be a mother than just looking at the kid and saying I am mom. The heartaches along with the joys. The time and dedication. Staying up in the middle of the night and most importantly the way you feel as well as the child on the matter. Excellent piece. Sorry I rambled on.

Posted 12 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Very well written and well composed. Good work, I see. Well thoguht out and well thought of. Though I cannot deny it is questionable to ask when a woman becomes a mother, I feel propelled to bring to light one other subject:

When does motherhood end?

As a student of Psychology, I have seen many forms of what some could term madness. Plenty among them are stories of motherhood; some where the mother fails to ever cross the invisible line between woman and mother, but many others where the fall below that line they once had crossed. I will not go into the ugly truth here; I merely pointed out another concept.

Another review by your humble figment of your imagination.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ohh my friend ,i knew you you are going to hit us with something great ,now and then..
i just lost a mother few weeks ago so i know the feelings well,too well..family ties here are so strong..
a mother will never let go of her sons and duaghters no mater what..her life she is ready to give till the end
she will ache and take all the pains just to know they never suffer or shed a tear,she will cry rivers,just so they smile
her whole life she lives with a broken heart just so they will never feel sad or broken..and i could go on for ever
i stayed close to her all through her life ,i missed lots of oppurtunities just to stay close..i was called away but never replied
i always missed a lot,but never one day missed any look on her face ,,always nursed her like a baby when sick ,till she died smiling
to me..smiled and said goodbye..goodbye good mother..i tried to be the best son..still i feel i was not good enough..thank you mother for everything

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

nope, never, ever over. and this is so well written, it captures
the essence of motherhood. Very fine stuff.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You have definetley got me thinking as to the when a woman becomes a mother, I think you have hit the nail on the head with this piece of brillance.
Really enjoyed reading.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

what are you going to do with a heart, anyway...especially your own...they can weigh the weight of decades, and float as lightly as a dandelion seed, and travel at the speed of love...and these are things that women know in their bones, and men know because they heard someone say it...

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this is wonderful, maybe the truest thing I ever read :)

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Beautiful. I love the wording in that last paragraph -- "Is a mother *born* when..." It brings your thoughts full-circle in a perfect way. I think it's wonderful that you could take such a simple object -- a torn sock -- and ascribe so much meaning to it. Very good job.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Quite a lot to think bout reading this fine piece of intellectually emotional art... it has a lot of complexity to it... it shows that one one persons trash is another's treasure to the just how the little things can matter when you love someone. I think the most powerful is that sometimes loving means not being there.
Absolutely love it.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Nearly all will identify with this wonderful
story
An emotional impact yet thoughtful .
Beautiful !

Someththing any son can treasure.

This writer has exceptional ability.


Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on December 22, 2009
Last Updated on January 10, 2010

Author

Tracie Skarbo
Tracie Skarbo

Canada



About
Learning consists of daily accumulating. The practice of the Tao consists of daily diminishing; decreasing and decreasing, until doing nothing. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. True.. more..

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