I do not know exactly when it started, my need to find things. It might have been when the kids were old enough to care where their worldly possessions were. Very often the days tended to stretch out forever in the life of the stay at home mom, and a good quest gave me some sense of purpose. I guess I also had some secret hope that if I showed the kids what a good search looked like, perhaps I could train them to join my elite squad. I thought they would see how all of the hard work paid off when we found a missing item. There is also a chance that, as I felt like I was slowly losing my mind, I didn't want to lose anything else.
I do recognize that things get lost. I have absolutely no idea where my prescription sunglasses went, and while this disappoints me, I am at peace with their disappearance. The reason I can sleep at night is that I don't "see" them anywhere (no pun intended). My issue is when I can picture something, clear as day, in a spot where it isn't...then where is it? I can sometimes see the regret on the children's faces when they've asked me if I've seen something...here she goes again! Other times the boy-child is happy to munch on a snack while I make my laps through the house.
One of my favorite quests was the missing handheld Nintendo game. We launched a full scale investigation and our failure was just not making sense. This was one of the few times that I drove myself batty for something I really didn't remember seeing, but rather could not understand how it disappeared. I had the pleasure of finally finding the game, on my own, in the way back of the van. I was very happy to have saved the original packaging, as I wrapped the item up and put it on the counter for when my son returned home. I could've sworn I almost saw a tear in his eye as he asked me what I'd done. I tried to respond in the same split second as he saw the rip in the edge of the package, and knew I'd played a trick.
Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday, as my daughter reminded me. That was a pretty big deal in elementary school, and even though she is in middle school now, old habits die hard. She thought she might like to wear one of my Seuss t-shirts (yes, I have two...doesn't everybody?). They were not in their usual spot in my closet, and I heard the quiet protest as I offered to run to the basement to look...just a quick peek. Both shirts were right in one of my summer bins, and she wore neither, which was truly fine. But we also had these Cat in the Hat pins...uh-oh...I knew right where those were. I found the Thing 1 and Thing 2 note pads and sticky notes (she was bringing the post-its to her English teacher), but the pins were eluding me.
She made some suggestions of where she thought she had seen them last, as I told her I didn't really know why these searches took on their own life for me. My husband did not get out any detective props, but rather left quickly for work. We did have a schedule to keep and breakfast to eat, so I was able to just move on. I am not sure if I felt relieved or guilty when she came down from brushing here teeth with the two pins in her hand. Last year's pencil bag. I can't say that was any place I remembered seeing them, nor can I say that I would've been able to find the pencil bag.
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