{SOLS} Our Hero. I Guess.

See More Slices at Two Writing Teachers

See More Slices at Two Writing Teachers

I took Maddie and Kate to a home improvement store the other evening.  It was getting close to bedtime on this cold and rainy night, but I thought we would just make the quick trip.  Boy, was I wrong.

We bought what we needed in the store and headed back to the minivan.  I took the keys out of my pocket and used the automatic door opener  on the key ring (I love that thing) to open Maddie’s door.  The door slid open, and Maddie hopped inside the van.  I walked over to the other side and settled Katie in her car seat.  As I started to walk back around the van, I reached inside my pocket for the keys again.  No keys.  “What the….?  I just had them in my hand!” I thought.  I checked the ground, the inside of the van, my purse.  No keys.

I unstrapped Katie from her car seat and told Maddie to hop out of the van.  We retraced our steps back through the parking lot to where I had automatically opened Maddie’s door, my eyes searching the wet ground.  The girls hopped playfully in puddles, oblivious to my growing panic.  No keys.

Back to the van we went.  My hands searched Katie’s car seat, my own pockets, my purse again, the ground, Katie’s pockets, Maddie’s pockets, my purse again, the bag from the store, the ground again.  No keys.

This went on and on and on and on for over twenty minutes.  A kind employee of the store saw me and came over to help.  He looked inside the van, outside the van, in the parking lot, under the van.  No keys.  Finally, I called my husband.  He was driving home from work and was still about 30 minutes away from home.   We had no choice, we’d have to wait.

After a quick trip to the potty inside the store, the girls and I found ourselves back outside in the van.  “Daddy will be here soon,” I told them.  We couldn’t play the radio, so we filled the time by singing Christmas carols, telling funny stories, and looking for Santa sightings in the sky.

Eventually, my husband pulled up next to us in the now practically empty parking lot.  “Daddy’s here!  Daddy’s here!” Maddie yelled.  The minivan erupted into a chorus of applause and yells and whistles.  Even little Katie joined in the celebrating by clapping her tiny hands.  I was so relieved that my husband was there with the spare key.

Which we didn’t need because….

Of course, he found my keys immediately.  I mean, immediately.  He used the flashlight function on his phone, pulled up the floor mat near Katie’s spot, opened some secret compartment that clearly only him and the Chrysler designers know about, and there they were.  Illuminated by the stupid glow of his damn phone.

Ugh.  All at once I felt relieved, surprised, thankful, embarrassed, appreciative, and annoyed.  Mostly annoyed.

(Just kidding, honey.  Kind of.)

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13 thoughts on “{SOLS} Our Hero. I Guess.

  1. You made me laugh –such a powerful gift of a writer! Totally would have been me 10 years ago! I love how you crossed out words – wonderful craft. He could have just told you about the extra under the mat on the phone! At least you had some bonding time singing songs in the van together –that is what they will remember. Thanks for sharing.
    Clare

  2. I had to laugh, sorry Dana. I’ve been in this exact situation yself – with the same solution. Aggravating, but reassuring, too, in a weird way!

  3. Great story! I could so identify with that panic feeling. My situation couldn’t be saved by my husband since I was about four hours away from home when my keys went missing. Fortunately I found them after about 20 minutes of searching.

  4. When you started off I thought this was going to be about how Lowe’s (or Home Depot or whenever you were) was an entertaining spot for kids. (Because it can be, you know.) And then, I felt my stomach drop as I read through your prose, feeling my fingers getting colder as you had to wait in the cold minivan for your husband to arrive. Glad he found them, but man, that is frustrating that it even happened!

  5. Oh no, I was imagining all sorts of things. You led us well down that scary garden path, Dana! I thought perhaps someone had picked them up when you dropped them, or ?? So glad it worked out, & actually you now have a good memory in years to come, as in “remember the time at Christmas singing songs & waiting for the keys from daddy”? Thanks for a little chuckle, and hope that’s the final mishap of the season! Happy Holidays!

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