The season morphs from summer to fall and the air becomes crisp, nature’s colors radiant. Our family anticipates and embraces back to school, reunions with friends, and of course, football season. But alas, along with excitement, fall brings regimented schedules, rendering lazy summer days a fond, but distant memory. We now have places to be, on time, geared up, ready for action. “Everyone needs to be in charge of their own sports and school gear this year.” I explain to the kids. Order and efficiency must reign supreme. I’ll teach these young whipper snappers a thing or two about responsibility.
Preparing to leave the house, I observe each child carrying their own soccer bag. We packed them the night before and took careful inventory. This is going great; we are off to a roaring start for the new school year! On our way to practice, we stop at a friend’s house. When it’s time to ready my son for soccer, my plan falters; his bag is missing. A thorough search of the car yields nothing but a summer’s worth of rubbish; half empty juice boxes, sand, crushed shells. “Rain Man, where is your soccer bag? Did you bring it into Jamie’s house?” Rain Man has no idea where his gear is, but he is certain he brought it with him, as am I. Next we search the house, a sprawling old craftsman. This takes a considerable amount of time. No luck.
Fortunately, Jamie has three girls between the ages of six and eleven; she has a size run of all sports gear. She lends us cleats and shin guards, saving our bacon for the umpteenth time.
Arriving home after practice, the mystery is quickly revealed. I trip over my son’s soccer bag where he dropped it in the middle of the room, on his way to the front door. Oblivious! Absolutely oblivious! This is when I lose my mind…
I rifle through the junk drawer, miraculously locating a measuring tape. “Eight feet, seven inches from the
front door.” I repeat it over and over again. I pick up the bag, then drop it, just to see if I notice. I repeat this motion several times. Yes, it registers immediately in my brain that I am no longer carrying the bag. Suddenly I find myself playing an inane and solitary game of “Mother May I”. It takes seven scissor steps, five bear walks, ten crab walks, or two giant steps to cover the distance from the “dropping point” to the front door.
I pick up the bag, “I have to zip up to Ken’s Market. I’ll be back in five minutes!” I shriek at my husband, in a voice unfamiliar to myself. I drive like a maniac up the street to the market. I grab the bag and head straight to the vegetable department, where I weigh the bag in the hanging scale. Three pounds, eleven ounces. I’m gob smacked by the irony; precisely how much my son weighed at birth. I am quite certain I never inadvertently dropped my son on my way to the front door, and simply kept walking, unaware of my lightened load. I begin to limp out of Ken’s Market, still muttering “Eight feet, seven inches from the door”, my hair is disheveled, mascara smeared. I’ve somehow lost a shoe in my frenzy. The tattooed grocery clerk, with plugs the diameter of DVD’s, in what were once earlobes, looks at me with genuine compassion and pity. “Just another Queen Anne Mom whose lost her sh*t.”