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It’s just a sock. Dropped as he carried his clean laundry up to his room. And yet, it’s so much more.

It makes me think about all the other socks over the years.

I used to find smaller versions dropped around the house when my boys were little. Feet ready to be free. I can still hear the sound of them running in the house and me calling for them to slow down because the hardwoods are slippery.

Now, my concerns are bigger. I spotted this stray sock in the wee, dark hours of the morning as I grabbed the keys to drive my youngest to the airport for his first trip out of the country alone. He is 19.

It took me back to when he just a little guy, all mine. And yet, this man-sized sock reminds me he now belongs to the world as well. And as I prayed for him before he departed, I knew he belongs to God most of all.

I didn’t pick the sock up before we left for the airport. I might just leave it there, where I am grateful for it and for every other that drops because he is home. A mom holding on just a little longer.

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