How many times have all of us said that while we are staring at a space where our keys, wallet, purse, book, cell phone or other important item was supposed to be? My daughter called me this morning because she couldn’t find her car keys and she was frazzled because she was late for work and her children were screaming at her – although that happens even when she has her keys. And why did she call me? Not sure since she doesn’t live with me and I have no idea where she put her keys – must be a child-mother thing. I know that whenever the kids would lose things when they were little, they thought I had a psychic link to all of their belongings and would just know where it was. Of course, I would usually prove this was true by actually finding the object – but that was just because I would actually look for the item while they spun in a circle chanting, “I don’t see it anywhere. I’ve looked everywhere.” Amazing what one can find when one actually moves things and looks under clothes, blankets and other assorted junk – sometimes its stuff better left unfound – but often it is the very thing you are trying to find.
I actually have a list of places that I recite to my children whenever they have lost something – and I did the same with Jenny this morning. I asked if she had checked the peg by the front door, the landing, under the couch, in the couch, on the end-tables, on the kitchen table, on the kitchen counters, on top of the TV, in the bread drawer, in the refrigerator, in the freezer, in the bathroom, under the bed, in the bed, in the drawers, in the closet and I always end with these last two – in your purse/pocket or on the kitchen table (I have found I need to repeat that one for some reason. They tend to just stand in front of the table and stare – heaven forbid anything be moved!). I used to suggest that it would be by the phone – but nowadays, the phone is mobile and usually the missing item!
The one thing that can throw off an entire search are small children. These little thieves have been known to snatch bright, shiny things and put them in their toy boxes, a special hiding place, a treasure box and even their underwear. You can ask them a million times if they have seen your keys (or other missing item) and they will answer you differently every time. Sometimes the answer is yes – nothing else – just yes. Or they will answer yes, but they only touched them, they didn’t move them. Or – they borrowed the item – but they put it right back. Or – yes and they put the item where it belonged (but they can’t remember where that might be!). The answer is never no – because they want to be helpful – and they really have no idea what you are seeking, but they know you are upset and saying yes seems to help.
When all else fails, you can always say a prayer to St.Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. However, by the time I think of saying a prayer toSt.Anthony, my prayer usually contains swear words – and no self-respecting saint is going to answer THAT prayer!
Jenny finally found her keys this morning – I don’t think she said a prayer to St. Anthony because she was already swearing by the time she called me. Where did she find them? Well, on the kitchen table, of course. On the second time around, she actually moved a couple of things and there they were! I apparently still have that psychic connection to my children’s things!