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Lessons from misfit socks

A Wayland family shares its tale of love, loss, and hope

The Kiefer family (from left): McKenna, 17, Rosie, 10, and Emma, 14, with their parents, Karen and Sam, and their Labradoodle, Keibo. In their Wayland home, they’ve hung socks of gratitude. A family tradition inspired Karen to write “The Misfit Sock.’’ The Kiefer family (from left): McKenna, 17, Rosie, 10, and Emma, 14, with their parents, Karen and Sam, and their Labradoodle, Keibo. In their Wayland home, they’ve hung socks of gratitude. A family tradition inspired Karen to write “The Misfit Sock.’’ (Photos by ESSDRAS M SUAREZ/GLOBE STAFF)
By Bella English
Globe Staff / December 24, 2011
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A dozen years ago, when her girls were young, Karen Kiefer would take them into the basement laundry room with her as she washed, dried and folded, the better to keep an eye on them. Occasionally, a sock would disappear, leaving behind its match. Inevitably, there was a pile of misfit socks collecting dust in their Framingham laundry room: knee socks, men’s dress socks, athletic socks, kids’ socks, baby socks. The girls wondered where the missing socks went. But they were especially concerned about those left behind. “Do you think these socks are sad because they lost their match?’’ Kiefer remembers them asking her.

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‘The other misfit socks followed, kicking up their heels in Christmas JOY. Together, they would find their way into the hearts of every little girl and boy.’ EXCERPT FROM “THE MISFIT SOCK’’