I will not be writing about my fabulous vacation to Bermuda. That is probably because I have never been to Bermuda—though I am hoping to go to Bermuda, hint, hint. The issue at hand is one that is much more serious. The issue at hand is the vortex in each of our homes that sucks in items that become missing. It starts when our children are little and they lose their favorite pacifier (well, not my children because I am proud to say that none of my boys ever used a pacifier. Their deep-seated emotional issues will only be noticed by their wives, and all stem from my craziness, not their attachment to a pacifier). One of my sons, and I will not mention which one for shidduch purposes, had a blanket named “Boppy.” When we lost Boppy, things were bad. Very, very bad. Many a time we had to travel to Monsey or to Fair Lawn to retrieve Boppy because no one would sleep, no one would stop screaming and the world felt like it was coming to an end. We always managed to find him, but it was never easy. I was also never bright enough to buy a matching Boppy so we would have a quick replacement.
As the young men in my house got older, different things would go missing. The dice to their favorite baseball card game (thank God for the Internet and online shopping), their Game Boys (thank God their mother doesn’t work and could spend eight hours going through all of the toy bins), library books (have located all but 1 in the history of living in this house, pretty good record), yarmulkes, clips for said yarmulkes and the list goes on and on. I would say/scream “can’t anybody help me find (insert name of object here)?!?!?!” No, no one could ever help me find anything. Ever. It was all up to me. What a surprise.
Thinking back to my childhood, I have fond memories of dumping bags of garbage on the kitchen floor looking for my retainer—with my dad, not my mom. Though I have less fond memories of helping my mom look for something she had lost; her keys, a piece of jewelry, her pocketbook, etc. But my incentive was the “surprise” we would get if we helped her find her lost item. I always hoped the reward would be chocolate (what a surprise!).
In any event, I honestly believe that the beautiful, comfortable, warm chocolate brown sectional couch in my family room is the Bermuda Triangle. Need some change? Lift up a cushion. Need a snack? Lift up a cushion. Need an xbox game? Lift up a cushion. Most recently, we have found 42 baseball cards, 26 yarmulke clips (in black and silver), three notebooks, a box of pens AND the missing cell phone that son #3 “looked everywhere” for. I have a sneaking suspicion that Jimmy Hoffa might be in there too, but I am not quite ready to alert the authorities just yet.
Last week, son #1 passed his driving test and received his license. You know what a license is, that teeny tiny card that you keep in your wallet that you can’t lose because it takes so long to get a new one. Well, needless to say, three days in, we lost the license. Oh, not WE, HE (but, it was my fault, like everything else…global warming, the war against terrorism, the new, less tasty coffee cakes). He first did not admit to losing it, but when he did, off to the Bermuda Triangle we went. We found his missing Dunkin’ Donuts gift card (where he purchases his major source of nutrition), but no license.
“Are you sure you last saw it in the house?” I asked, like the good, kind, sweet and patient mother I am.
“Yes, mother dear,” son #1 responded, like he does to all of my questions. “If you saw it in the house, it has to be in the house.”
I actually saw the light bulb go off over his head (metaphorically, as I had recently changed the actual light bulb that was above his head) and off to his room he ran, where he located the license. Baruch Hashem.
The moral of this article? Kids lose stuff, parents lose stuff…it’s all replaceable (unless you lose the actual kid or parent, and then you should call the police.) But, if you can’t find something, come take a look in my couch because it is probably there. Happy hunting!
Banji Latkin Ganchrow is a Teaneck resident and writer who enjoys traveling across the country by car with her husband and three sons. She is also the author of the blog holycrapimgonnabe40 and hopes to, one day, write a best-selling novel and appear on the Ellen Show.
By Banji Latkin Ganchrow