Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Mystery of the Missing Monkey

For the past two weeks, I have been scouring the house and both cars in search of Ryan's beloved fleece "monkey blanky". (OK, it might just be more beloved by me than by him - he came home from the hospital snuggled in it, which makes it very precious to me. But it's definitely his and it's definitely loved.)

Herb and I both wracked our brains trying to remember when and where we'd seen it last. The last time we were both certain we had it was on a shopping trip to buy Herb some new shirts, about two weeks ago. It was a dark and rainy night, and when we'd pulled out of the parking lot, I had noticed that we'd dropped one of Ryan's white spit rags in the middle of the street, but considering the weather (and the fact that we had 47 more - literally - at home), we just let it be. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether the spit rag wasn't the only thing that fell out of the baby carrier while we were tucking Ryan back into the car. How could we have not noticed losing such a big item? Especially on a cool, wet evening, we would have realized that Ryan's blanket was no longer snugly tucked in around him, right? So I basically dismissed that idea and assumed that after a few more good searches the blanket was sure to turn up - hanging in the laundry room, or tucked underneath the crib, or stuffed under the back seat of one of the cars.

But yesterday afternoon I just happened to be in the vicinity of that particular store, so I figured I'd take a quick cruise through the parking lot on the off chance that the blanket was still there. Now, I need to explain that in the two weeks since that shopping trip, we've had several days of snow squalls and just a few days ago we had an unbelievable windstorm that knocked out power, knocked down good-sized trees, and generally blew everything all over the place. So even if we had lost the blanket there, there wasn't much chance that it would still be there after two weeks of good weather, and the chances that it would be there after those particular two weeks were even slimmer. But the more I had searched for that blanket, the more upset I was at losing it. So I had to give it a shot.

As I pulled into the parking lot with Ryan dozing in the back seat, I prayed out loud, "Please God, you know how much this blanket means to me and how much I want to find it. Please let it somehow still be in this parking lot. I know there's absolutely no reason it should be, and I know this might not even be where we lost it, but you know how much I need to find it and this is the last place I can think of to look." And as I turned the car down the aisle where we'd parked that night, there was only one empty parking space. It just happened to be the same space we'd parked in that night. And there, directly underneath where a car's front end would have been hiding it from view had a car been parked there, was a filthy, sodden, yet very familiar green and brown and yellow lump. I blinked for a second, then half-pulled into the parking space, threw the car into park, and jumped out. I grabbed the lump in all its wet, filthy glory (it was so full of dirty water that it must have weighed 3 or 4 pounds) and plopped it, dripping and muddy, on the floor of my back seat, chirping happily to an oblivious Ryan, "Look what Mommy found for you!"

But we both knew it wasn't just Mommy who found it. There was definitely a little heavenly help involved.

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