There is an expression circling the Internet that goes, “It isn’t lost until your mother can’t find it.” Clearly, the author was not raised by my mother.
In my childhood, the majority of lost items could be traced directly back to her involvement. Dreaded were the words, “Mary, can you go upstairs and find my glasses (book, lighter, baby)?” I hope that the new owners of her house locate some of her long-lost stuff. I should have told them about the hamster and the snake — although, to be fair, her part in that mishap was small.
Fast forward a gazillion years; I think I married my childhood. My adult story resumes in the Land of Lost Things; only on this island, the residents are many. It began with the Grand Puba of mislaid items — my husband. I had never heard the phrase “That’s rather odd” used in this context until I met him.
Uttered with soft curiosity, I initially missed the ominous undertone. I did not understand that “That’s rather odd” is really code for, “Emergency! All hands on deck! The adult male’s sneakers have gone missing! Your mission? Recovery with full-scale investigation into who might have moved them.” The first time that he sounded this alarm, our home consisted of him, myself and one small child; so I laughed. And, foolishly added, “Do you suspect aliens?” Not funny.
The misplacing gene is most apparent in our middle son. He will materialize before me and declare, “My phone is gone.” Most likely, this means that he moved his body, thereby leaving the phone temporarily out of view (he failed object permanence as a baby). This is the same child who presented several ripped pairs of boxers to me and said (with unveiled irritation), “These do not fit me.” Upon looking at the tag, I pointed out that these boxers belonged to his little brother. Sighing, I asked, “Could we have had this conversation after the first pair ripped, instead of after the fifth?”