Friday, June 29, 2007

Is that a goldfish in your pocket?

When I sat down at my desk a little while ago, I felt a strange wad of something in my pocket. It turned out to be three little goldfish crackers. I know that they must have belonged to one or both children because I do not eat the foul things. I cannot remember how or when I put them in my pocket! I have to assume that I did it last Friday since I haven't worn these jeans since then.

Anyway, this is a common occurrence. I often find my children's belongings in odd places with only the vaguest of memories of how they got there. The Playmobil pirate in my purse was probably confiscated at church. The lime green barrettes in my lunch bag? Probably shoved in there some morning when I didn't have quite enough time to fix Claire's hair. (By the way, Claire wears the plastic Goodie barrettes that I remember from my youth. I never wore them because my mother swore they wouldn't stay in my hair. I honestly believe she just didn't want to deal with finding a matching set on a busy morning - a stance which makes more sense every year. Nonetheless, seeing neon pink poodles in Claire's hair gives me indescribable joy.) One day, a glittery pencil with a shimmering translucent star-shaped eraser ended up on my desk at work. I can't even begin to guess how or why.

I love all these little surprises. They remind me of my kids when I'm not with them. They illustrate family life on a small scale - everyone's stuff just gets mixed in together sometimes. We all carry around each other's baggage. So when I'm looking for a mint in my bag and find a Hotwheel instead, I just smile, spin the wheels a bit, and send a little love to the owner.

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