“S.O.C.K.S. Rock!” Friend, Sep. 2015, 44–45
You can do this, you can do this, Sydney thought as she walked into the stake Primary activity. She saw the girls from her ward and thought about what Mom had said in the car. Maybe things would be easier once she got to know them better.
She took a deep breath and smiled. “Hi, guys!” One of the girls shot her that look—the look that screamed you don’t belong here.
Sydney’s smile wavered. Then she noticed what Libby, the leader of the group, was wearing. “Hey, we have the same hat!” Sydney exclaimed.
“It’s not a hat. It’s a beanie,” Libby said slowly, like Sydney wasn’t smart enough to understand. The girls giggled. “Or don’t you know that word? You were held back a grade, right?”
Sydney turned and walked away, trying not to cry.
Why were they always so mean to her? Ever since Sydney had moved here a few months ago, Libby and the other girls had made church and school miserable. They’d been especially horrible since finding out that Sydney had been so sick last year that she’d had to repeat a grade.
She glanced at the clock. Maybe she could call her mom and just go home.
“Want to sit in our row?” Sydney looked up to see a tall girl from another ward grinning and patting the chair beside her. Her nametag said Lauren.
“Sure.” Sydney sat down and kept her eyes glued to the ground. That was how she noticed the socks.
Cool socks. Crazy socks. Socks decorated with purple polka dots, pink stars, lime zigzags, blue smiley faces, and everything in between. Every girl in the row was wearing them.
Lauren noticed Sydney’s gaze and stuck out her foot. “Like them? They’re our mascot!”
“Mascot?” Sydney asked.
“Yup! We’re Sisters of Courage, Kindness, and Service—S.O.C.K.S.,” Lauren explained. “We made these at an activity and wear them to remind us who we should be.”
Being one of the S.O.C.K.S. sounded pretty amazing to Sydney. “Can I be one too?” she whispered.
“Of course! Anyone can join the S.O.C.K.S. That’s the best part!”
Sydney smiled and settled back in her chair as the stake Primary president started speaking.
From that day on, Sydney was a S.O.C.K.S., whether she was by herself or with the other S.O.C.K.S. girls. She made a pair of her own crazy socks, and they reminded her to be a Sister of Courage, Kindness, and Service, no matter what.
A few weeks later, she was put to the test. She and Libby were standing outside, waiting for rides home after a Primary activity, when Libby’s cell phone buzzed.
“Dad! I can’t wait to see you this weekend!” Pause. “Oh.” Longer pause. “Are you sure you can’t come?” Long pause. “OK. Bye.” Libby’s voice quavered.
Sydney knew that Libby’s parents had split up, but she never thought about how hard that must be. Libby, so cool and popular, had hard times too.
“So I guess now you’re going to tell everyone that my dad doesn’t want to see me, huh?” Libby scowled down at the sidewalk.
This is a perfect chance to get back at her! Sydney thought. What should I say?
Sydney glanced down at her socks and knew the answer.
“Of course not. I’m sorry you can’t see him this weekend.”
Libby looked up, surprised, just as both of their moms pulled up.
“I’ll see you at school,” Sydney said.
“OK. See you then.”
That night Sydney put her crazy socks away extra carefully. Today she had proved that she was a true S.O.C.K.S.—a sister of courage, kindness, and service—no matter what.