Socks. A simple pair of socks.
Amidst everything that seems to be going haywire in our world these days, it is good, right, and necessary to take this day and reflect on all that we have to be thankful for in our lives. There are many blessings I personally am thinking of this morning–family near and far, house and home, health (except for the deranged disk in my back), meaningful work, caring colleagues, great students, engaging friends. But thing I keep coming back to this morning is this pair of socks I’ve been wearing once a week every week this past fall.
It is a pretty cool pair of socks. They are mostly white, 3/4 length athletic socks with thick red and blue strips that encircle the calf. Think of 1970s ABA swagger and hip-ness, and you kind of get the picture. I’m pretty sure I’m the envy of all when I wear them. Truth be told, they are probably a bit too stylish for me. But they are also so thick and absorbent and comfortable that I’d wear even if they weren’t cool.
So they are great socks, yes. But what I really like about these socks is that every week when I put them on–and I do wear them once a week without fail–I think of my former graduate student Kyle Green. Kyle, you see, is the one who gave me these socks. He presented them to me as a going away present just after he defended his wonderful dissertation study (an ethnography of mixed martial arts) and before he left for his new, first job in New York (Utica College). They were one of the most unusual going-away gifts I’ve ever gotten from a student. I think he gave them to me because we had a lot of fun playing pickup basketball together on Thursday nights. And why I’ve come to love them–and am grateful for them this morning–is because they remind me of Kyle and how much I enjoyed working with him, and how proud I am of what is doing out there on his own. It is my weekly “Kyle moment,” as I told him yesterday when he was telling me about this great new methods project he’s been working on for TSP.
So its really not the socks I’m thankful for this morning as it is Kyle–and all of the people like Kyle (and so many of you!) who help make my life so meaningful and satisfying and wonderful.