"You be the captain, and I'll be no one.
And you can carry me away if you want to."
I don't know how it happens...it is an odd phenomenon. I know that I am not alone in this..there are others like me..Others struggling with this same problem day in and day out..I won't be silent any longer! I must tell the truth. There seems to be some sort of vortex in our house..an invisible hole, one that sucks away socks and gloves..not pairs..just one of each pair. I don't know how it happens. I watch very carefully. I am like a cat with a mouse hole. And yet, I now own fifty unmatched socks and twenty five right hands of gloves. I'm starting to wonder, is there an invisible one footed left handed thief among us?
Oh sure, I've heard similar stories. People making jokes about recovering missing socks..gloves..you name it. They are just covering up their fear. Fear of the unknown. You see, I have had these things disappear before my very eyes. It seems to occur with Sammy the most. I will be talking to him..he will have both gloves on..and then, all of a sudden..one will just be gone. Nowhere to be found. He hasn't moved, hasn't left the room-and yet, his left glove will be missing and we won't be able to find it-anywhere! Poof! Into the vortex. The really scary thing is, we won't ever find that glove again. It is starting to freak me out a little.
My kids (well, mostly Sammy) misplace things all the time.Hats, books...trombones.. I am a regular visitor to the lost and found box at school. This is why EVERYTHING they own is marked with their names in indelible ink. That way, they always know if something is theirs or not. This is most important to Oscar. He is fastidious about his things. He always knows where his shoes are, his hat, his gloves-everything. It is one of the constants he relies on to get through his day. Which is why I was totally blown away by what happened last week.
It was Friday, I was eagerly waiting for the bus. I thought that the kids would be excited as it was the weekend AND Oscars birthday was on Sunday. Birthdays are a big occasion at our house. Really, how often does anyone get to celebrate just having been born? (Personally, I celebrate having survived labor) On a cold winters day, nine years ago, after almost being born in a car, Oscar came barreling into the world at a whopping 9 lbs. 3 oz. (his sainted mother was too far along for an epidural to have worked) Did I mention celebrating the fact that I survived labor? Either way, I expected Oscar to be excited when he got off of the bus. Instead, I was met with a very upset and crying boy. Oscar, buddy, whats wrong?" "My hat...my hat..my gloves.."
"What about them?...why are you crying?" "They're lost..Sammy lost them..lost..they are lost"
"What do you mean-Sammy lost them..on the bus?" "No!! at the museum..Sammy lost them at the museum..my hat and gloves.." "O.K..we'll find them..come on, calm yourself.." "NOOOOO!!! I want my hat and gloves..I won't have my birthday..my birthday is cancelled..no birthday for Oscar!" "Come on Oscar, we'll find them...it's just a hat and gloves...we'll figure it out..it's your birthday Sunday..cake and presents!! It will be o.k." "NO! No birthday! no cake! no presents!" and up the stairs he went..to go yell in his room for a bit. Nothing I could do but let him. Trust him to get through this-even though my instincts screamed for me to run after him and fix it. sigh..."Sammy? What happened..how did you lose Oscars hat and gloves?" "I left them at the museum" (Sammy had had a field trip that day) "How could you leave Oscars hat and gloves at the museum? When you left home this morning, you were wearing your own!" "I know!..I thought I had lost mine, but when I got on the bus to go home, Oscar had them and HIS were missing!" Do you understand why I am freaked out now? Scared of this hat, glove and sock vortex that is overshadowing the lives of my family?
An hour or so later, a very calm Oscar came downstairs to talk to me. "Mama? It's o.k. that Sammy lost my hat and gloves. It was an accident" "It was bud, he didn't mean it. Do you feel better now?" "Yes." "I'm glad..a hat and gloves are just things. No need to get so upset about them. If Sammy can't find them...we'll get you some new ones...is that o.k.?" "O.K. Mama...uhhh..Mama? We can still have cake and presents right?" "Oh Oscar...come here and let me hug you..of course we'll celebrate your birthday! How could we not? It is one of the best days ever! And off he went. and off he goes..Three years ago, losing anything would have been cause for a major freak out. I look at my now nine year old in amazement. My curly headed flying boy...How much he has grown, how wonderful he is. Kids grow and develop at their own rate. The important thing is to simply let them.
I have however, decided to wage a battle against the sock, hat and glove vortex. To try and get back some of those things I have lost. So, if there is anyone looking for fifty or so socks or right handed gloves, please leave me a message. Maybe we can get together. I look forward to hearing from you.