After my last assessment of Mike's meager collection of handknit socks, I convinced myself to cast-on another pair for him immediately. Man socks are just. so. big. They push at my limit between the normally meditative state of pleasure induced by sock knitting and frustration.
Sometimes, while I'm working on them, I question whether I'm making any progress at all. When I finally get to the heel construction everything is good again. I start to feel renewed satisfaction in my decision to be selfless and knit socks for someone who loves them. The pleasure of casting off is short lived by the realization that I have to make a mate for that initial sock.
I give myself a pep-talk. The cycle begins again; this time, it's the last lap. Fueled by thoughts of the finish line, I keep knitting. I stop to complain. I consider starting something new. I start again. Then, it's over.
And, it's worth it. And, he reaches for them first when he looks in he sock drawer. He puts them on and smiles. And, I smile. And it makes me want to knit for him again and again.