Here’s a story for you:

A few weeks ago, my sister got married.  It was lovely and magical in all the ways that weddings are, just the beginning of a fairy tale, really.  It was a hot day (boy, was it a hot day!) and that fact will never get lost as we tell the story of that day, years later.  It was hot and the day was full.  This very full day came to an abrupt end (because are you ever really ready for something like this to end?) and somehow I had to gather up all of the stuff that was mine.  And oh, there was so much stuff: a cardboard box full of makeup and hair accessories, clothes from before I put on my official bridesmaid uniform, clothes from all of my children before they got fancy, their fancy clothes that they had since shed for pajamas, coloring books, reading books, crayons, and on and on.  And it was everywhere: shoved under the table at the reception, coats draped over chairs, water cups splayed out on top of the table, and that’s not counting the stuff in the carriage house!  We were so lucky to have this whole other place to be!  When Griffin became manic with fatigue, Mark set up the Pack ‘n Play over there and though I don’t think he slept much, he was quiet and happy, and most importantly, contained.  Not only did I have one entire human being (and all the stuff that goes with him) in the carriage house, but that was where the tornado that we call “getting ready for the party” tore through hours earlier.

To pull it all back together, I had my work cut out for me.

The party ended like this: Grant and I worked our moves like crazy on the dance floor, keeping up with all my sister’s hip friends. Renee tried SO HARD to keep at it, but eventually Mark was working his moves with a 33 lb. belt of beauty around his neck and waist.  Eventually, he sat down and watched, and by only the magic that we will call “wedding” Renee simply would not, could not close her eyes.  Somehow, she was awake for every second of that party, fighting with all of her body not to miss a single moment.  The last song played and we’re all saying our goodnights and our thank-yous, and I need to pack up this giant mess of stuff.  With two, no make that three, kiddos who are up way too late.

There was but one objective: get out of dodge, fast, with as little meltdown from the small people as possible.  I did the only thing that I knew how: I started throwing things wherever they would fit, into whatever bags I could find.  Mark and I had driven separately, so both vehicles were fair game.  Bags, no bags, boxes, no boxes.  There were loose items rolling around the back seat, and it was all a bit crazy.  I did not take inventory.  I managed to do one last sweep through the rooms of the carriage house, and I didn’t recognize the few things that were left. With only my cell phone and wallet in hand, I kissed my babes in the car Mark was driving, before getting into the driver seat of the other to head home.

We pulled into my mom’s driveway, where we were spending the night, and I threw my cell phone and wallet into my “diaper bag” and slung that over my shoulder.  Of course, the boys were still awake.  Renee, predictably and thankfully, couldn’t resist the lull of highway driving and was a sack of potatoes as Mark threw her over his shoulders and carried her to bed. In my effort to get Griffin (who, remember, had been asleep earlier) to not get too energized by this transition, I grabbed him immediately and in the dark brought him upstairs and into the Pack ‘n Play already set-up at my mom’s house.  I leaned awkwardly to lay him down with the least amount of  movement, but as I tipped my torso upside down, the bag over my shoulder, with no zipper closure, tipped upside down, too.  The contents of my bag rained out onto the floor and into the Pack ‘n Play.  It was dark, and I made haste to feel around and gather up whatever I could find.  I shoved the few loose odds and ends I came up with back in the same haphazard way I had earlier.

Now with kids in beds, Mark and I went through the motions of getting ourselves ready for bed.  I grabbed my bag, that bag that I use as I “diaper” bag/mom catch-all, so I could plug in my cell phone.  I readily found my cell phone, but couldn’t find my “i-thing” – the hand-me-down iphone that I use as an ipod and to occasionally check my email when I have free wi-fi.  I emptied my bag on the bed, and then searched through the box of makeup.  No luck.  Mark tried texting it: “Did anyone find this?” but without wi-fi, that text is meaningless. We replayed our actions, retraced our steps. I figured that either someone saw it in the carriage house and grabbed it, in which case I’ll search it out at the brunch in the morning, or it’s gone.  I shrugged my shoulders.  If it’s gone, it’s gone.  I’d like to not be so careless with my stuff, but it was a free toy of mine, and I can live without it.  With that, I finished brushing my teeth, and I was so tired I don’t remember falling asleep.


The next morning, Griffin is up way too early, and I take a few minutes to gather my brain before I go in to get him.

When I do, this is what I find:


I think he was texting his buddies from the wedding.


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