Friday, August 8, 2014

The most ridiculous thing to be sad about..

.. is the loss of a tiny stuffed animal, one of hundreds owned by our children over the years.  But here I sit feeling sad and not knowing what to do because I've looked EVERYWHERE I can think of for this little guy, and he's nowhere to be found.  I think Delaney's even given up the search but for some reason I can't.  And I wonder why she's turning into such a hoarder -- I feel this way about a few things and she feels this way about ALL THE THINGS.

But there's a memory attached to this one and that's why it's so special to me.  Last year around this time we, just the five of us, went on a week-long vacation in Emerald Isle, NC.  We stayed in a house on the beach and everything was so perfect.  It was one of the most fun and relaxing vacations we've ever had from the full moon at night over the water, to grilling burgers and eating them on the deck, to kids playing in the water fully clothed, having fun dinners out every time with three kids (what?).. I could go on and on.  It was like the stars aligned and everything went right.  We could have done without the dolphin boat tour, but would be our only complaint.

During that week Delaney lost her first tooth and the Tooth Fairy, being short on cash, was pretty generous.  She also had earned some money doing chores, so one morning Tim took her out to pick out something to buy.  I think he took her out two separate times because she was so indecisive, and wanted to make sure that the thing she got was the thing she definitely wanted.  (I still have trouble with that myself!)  As a matter of fact she even tearfully regretted her final selection a day later, which was one of the most adorable toys ever: a bright red mama crab with a pouch on her back out of which peeked a little baby crab.  The baby was removable.  Delaney named the mama "Crabby" and the baby "Snappy."  She got over the finality of her decision and came to like them again, a lot.  Crabby and Snappy have remained among Delaney's favorites, one of the several that call her bed home.

About a week or so ago we went to a playgroup in the neighborhood and Delaney wanted to bring Crabby and Snappy.  As we were leaving Delaney said, "Wait a minute, I want to ride my bike!"  So I told her she could go get it and ride her bike to the house which was one street over from ours.  She dashed back to get her bike and her helmet, then she rode and the rest of us walked to the playgroup.  Since there was a bit of a drizzle I carried Delaney's bike up to the front porch to sit under cover, but I took no note of the toy or whether or not it was even there.  Delaney had stuffed it inside the little zipper pouch that sits on her handlebars.  A little while before we left Delaney mentioned that she didn't have Snappy and wanted to go to the porch and find him.  I told her to go ahead.  She said he wasn't there.  I didn't pay much mind to Delaney's concerns at this point because she's always fussing over a stuffed animal and I was too busy trying to make friends.  But after we got home and she was even more upset because she couldn't find him, I carefully re-traced our route back to my friend's house, then turned around and carefully looked at the road and the surrounding grassy area all the way back.  No Snappy.  I asked Delaney if she was sure, if she was positive, she had brought him.  She was adamant that she had, insisting that she remembered seeing him on the ride over and noticed he was gone while we were at the playdate.  I texted my friend asking her to look out.  She texted me later saying that she had searched her house and had walked to my house and back and hadn't found him.

Since then I've looked at the places where she probably ran in a hurry right as we were leaving the house that day.  The garage, the two or three places that helmets have been kept, and then extended my search to everywhere that she plays with toys.  I can't believe how much it bothers me that that little crab is gone.  I've prayed to St. Anthony, apologizing as I do so because he has way more important things to be helping people with.  I've wracked my brain thinking of places to look.  There aren't all that many nooks and crannies in our minimalist home.  I guess the only thing I haven't done yet is empty her and Annie's dresser drawers.  But I have changed their bedding a couple times since then and no Snappy has tumbled out.

Look at Crabby:
Is this not the most forlorn mama crab you've ever seen?  So sad!  I really need to get a hold of myself, don't I?  But it's hard because a day or so ago, Delaney showed me the August page of her calendar and pointed sadly at one of the days, and I said, "What?"  not understanding what she'd written there.  She said, "Snappy's birthday." :'( 

Well, Delaney, we may not ever find Snappy, but you've got to know I gave it my best shot! 

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