I was a child of the 80s, and also a product of hippie parents. Well, sorta hippie parents-the part where they smoke pot, share everything, and hug trees. That's neither here nor there now, but it will make you understand this (maybe?):
I had socks in every damn color. And I layered them. Remember when we used to do that? I had hot pink, lime green, dark green, highlighter yellow (just to name a few)...and several different shades of black and white. I even had polka dot ones. I also had socks for every holiday-St. Patty's day, Halloween (they glowed in the dark), Thanksgiving, etc. I thought I was hot shit. Didn't we all?
My mother was young when she had me-23. So by the time I was in middle school, she was still smokin' hot and feeling like she was 18 inside (hell, I'm 30 and I still feel 17 or 18 inside; my damn body just shows me reality every morning when I groan out of bed!). We wore each other's clothes. And my mom? She always wore my socks. As a matter of fact, years later, after she had divorced my father and lived in another house, I had casually opened her sock drawer to borrow a pair, and found that she only had 4 or 5 pairs. All white.
My mom would come into my room every day and grab a pair of my socks. She would sometimes wear hot pink ones with jeans, just for the hell of it. It was not out of the question that she would wear this one dark green Christmas pair, with red bows and bells, in the middle of the summer, just to make us smile.
Every month or so, my mom would walk into my room and dump out my sock drawer. Right in the middle of my room. And she would announce that I needed to 'clean out' my sock drawer. I would groan and whine, but I came to expect it.
I was forced to match up all my socks and fold them into one another. I had to get rid of the ones worn thin from walking outside without shoes on. I sewed up the ones with little holes on the heel or toe. Then I organized them by color. After I was done, she would buy me a couple of new pairs. There came a time when I had to put the Christmas socks in the donation bag. And of course, there came a time when I didn't mind getting rid of those awful yellow socks.
All those years, I never realized my mother was teaching me a lesson, and preparing me for my future. She forced me to get rid of things I still liked, but in doing so, I learned to appreciate what I had. She forced me to realize that nothing lasts forever, but I learned that sometimes you have to let go of something to experience something new, different.
I am still trying to learn that lesson today, as I come to terms with leaving behind my past self, and my previous homes (that I still miss in little ways), and the way my marriage used to be. I am not always prepared, nor am I always happy with the changes, but I have come to accept them, and find peace and hope in the new that replace the old.