When I was growing up, my mother always had this strange obsession with counting silverware. Something was always going missing. I remember several times during my childhood when, even with all the dishes clean, we only had three spoons. After reaching adulthood and becoming responsible for my own flatware, I’ve often thought back to those times when my mom would accusingly ask the whereabouts of her teaspoons. For nearly eight years, I’ve owned the same service of four, and I still have all the original pieces. Many times, I’ve felt a sense of pride and outdoing – I’ve succeeded where my mother was unable to, and I can keep track of my spoons. (Confession: My mother was, and is, such a mysteriously successful woman in all she attempts, it's often nice to feel like I can do something a little better.) However, it’s recently come to my attention that my mother faced a hurdle I have, hereto forth, not faced. Now I do face that hurdle, and the fate of my spoons is in jeopardy.
Enter the toddler.
E hides everything, everywhere. He loves to drop things into laundry baskets, trashcans, containers, cabinets, and some super secret hiding spot I’ve not yet discovered. We recently opened the utensil drawer in the kitchen to discover the DVD remote control, which had been missing for two days. Earlier this evening, I emptied dirty laundry into the washer and found: two toy cups, a small ball, a knitting tool, an ink pen, and (gasp) a spoon.
For years I thought I was doing it better than my mom. I owe her an apology. Children hide things. They use things in ways we can’t imagine. They lose things. For all those years, my mom was right. Her children were losing her spoons. My child is losing my spoons. But the look of delight on his face when we dumped out that laundry basket and all those treasures were found was definitely worth a few lost spoons.