Yesterday my keys went missing. I was really upset with myself until remembering where I'd seen the keys last--with Cade.
I called him. "So you see," I said. "None of this is my fault. I'm faultless in every way, like Mary Poppins, and I'd like to know where YOU lost the keys."
Silence on the other end as he picked his jaw off of the floor. "I'm so sorry. I thought I hung them up."
"Thinking . . . Remembering . . . I wish that could help me, but alas, I checked there. The keys ARE NOT hanging up. You've hit criminal status."
"Why's that?" he asked.
"Don't act naive with me. I'm sure lots of criminals steal things and then 'lose' them."
I wish I could have seen his face, really. The pause said it all.
"Plus," I went on, "this really sucks. Now, I can't bring the kids to school today."
The Scribe squealed behind me because she'd been up since five AND she loves eavesdropping. "No school, Hippie! This is EPIC!"
The Hippie groaned, though. She may be carefree and go-with-the-flow, but she LOVES school. "It's library day." She frowned.
"Just 'cause I can't take you doesn't mean you won't go. I'll find someone to pick you up," I said.
Cade laughed on the phone. "I hope you'll find the keys soon. Call me when you do."
Oh, he has the faith of a mustard seed. There I was thinking things were worse than Hell on a Sunday, and my husband was filled with faith--what a beautiful day!
It was six in the morning at this point. I'd been searching for an hour. There was something in the van that I needed.
I got desperate at one point. When you're truly desperate around here, you go to the two people who can help. They're like "the Fates" just smaller. They're the two people cunning enough to steal keys, yet smart enough to hide them.
"Do you know where the keys are?" I asked the Zombie Elf and then Doctor Jones (my three and one-year-old).
"Keys?" the Zombie Elf asked. "I just want a dinosaur."
Moving along, I went over to Doctor Jones. She nodded and clapped. I followed her EVERYWHERE. We went upstairs, downstairs, in closets. The whole time Luna (our husky puppy) followed us. We found many treasures I've been missing, like a tiny glass baby representing Zeke (my son who died), a fairy statue, my favorite bridge for my violin!
After what seemed like a lifetime, I finally turned to Doctor Jones. Treasures filled my arms, things that squirrel had hidden from me! "Do you really know where the keys are?"
"No." She giggled and toddled off. I thought how next week is her second birthday. I can't let that moment dictate my choice of gift.
I set my bundle of precious items on the table and slumped to the floor. The dog licked my face and then practically knocked me on my back and rested on me. "Luna, do you know where the keys are?"
She looked excited--actually thrilled. She suddenly ran to the back door and pawed at it.
"Good, girl!" I jumped up. "You know? You do! I'm here. Show Mama where the keys are. Good, girl. Show me."
Before going outside I turned to the Hippie and the Scribe. "I'm going outside with Luna. Keep looking for the keys. This is important."
They both got up, a bit too slowly if you want to know the truth. The Scribe didn't want to find the keys and the Hippie is like molasses and hardly anything makes her hurry anyway--even library day.
I went out with Luna. We traveled across the yard. I even brought treats. She sniffed and then dug a hole. I gave her a treat. "Good, girl. Are you close?" She dug some more, sniffed, then went to make a new hole. We went through over five treats, each time I rewarded her for digging a hole. (Yes, I'm an idiot.) After a dozen holes, the Hippie came out all dolled up, wearing her fancy coat, scarf, crazy plaid jeans, a mismatched polka dot top and a fuzzy headband.
"Whatcha doin'?" she asked.
I just glared at her. Didn't she know I'd been on a mission? My husky/HOUND DOG was on the trail. We had the scent of metal and we were going to find those keys!
"I'm playing with the dog," I said sarcastically because sometimes I'm a sucky mother. "What do you THINK I'm doing?"
She followed us after that, not answering my snarky comment. I refused to give the dog more treats, but I did clap. "Good, girl. Are we getting closer? Come on. You're so good."
"I didn't think we were supposed to encourage her to dig holes?"
"We're not, Honey." I turned to Luna. "Come on. Dig faster, girl. You can find 'em."
The Hippie looked at me like I'd fallen from the loony bus. She followed us for a while longer. "Mom," she cleared her throat after a LONG time. "I don't mean to interrupt you with . . . whatever you're doing, but I found something."
I just turned to her. There was dirt on my hands at this point. My eyes probably bulged. My lips twitched and I couldn't help it. What could she have found--I wondered!
"Yes," I said sounding like a greedy child, who wants a sucker. "Go on."
"Well, I forgot, but last night when no one was looking, I went out to the van to get something. Anyway, I must have left the keys in my coat pocket." She handed them to me. "Are you okay, Mom? I thought you'd be happy. But . . . You look really white."
"Yes, Honey. I'm . . . fine," I lied to my own child! "How long have you had these?"
"I found them right after you came outside to play with Luna." She studied my face. "Are you feeling sick again? You don't look good."
So first she kept the keys from me FOREVER--then she wanted to hurl insults? I didn't look good--seriously? Didn't she know what a terrible morning I'd had? Was I supposed to be a beauty queen first thing in the morning?!
"Just give me a moment," I said, trying really hard to be nice, after all she had found the keys.
I started walking toward the side of the house and Luna--that muddy dog--followed me. I'm sure we looked like a pair. I still wore my pajamas. My hair hung in clumps. I had mud on my face and hands, but by golly I had my keys again!
"Well, while you're busy playing with Luna over there, I'm going back inside." The Hippie waved, completely clueless and bounded into the house.
It wasn't until she shut the door, that I screamed at the side of the house. The sun sent desperate rays--the butt-crack of dawn. A few neighbor dogs howled in response to my pain, like that time Wesley screamed in "The Princess Bride." I might have woken up everyone in a five mile radius, and I DID NOT care!
I know it's terribly funny now, but after spending two hours searching for keys, you try laughing when you've followed a baby and then a muddy dog around forever--like your life depends on it.
So, now that I've officially trained Luna to DIG HOLES FOR A LIVING . . . I have a digger, four wild kids, a husband (who I apologized to), a shiny set of keys, a holey yard AND a God who loves me. Who could ask for anything more, seriously? My life is complete.