My husband is in Spain. Mallorca, to be exact.
The island in the Mediterranean, you’re wondering?
Yep, that’s the one.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, I ended the night by arguing with a 5-year-old about the necessity of a bath anytime there is a pronounced streak in your underoos at the end of the day. A good scrubbing, a quick bedtime story, and then I hunted for my tiny scissors.
Why tiny scissors?
Glad you asked. It’s safer to trim the poop-caked fur around your dog’s butt hole with tiny scissors. Rounded tips, of course.
An awful lot of poop at the end of an already very long day. And while the poop certainly wasn’t awesome, particularly juxtaposed with Mallorca, someone had to deal with my poop once upon a time and will again one day. Right now, I’m creating balance, a universe in which I’ll get the hand I need when I need it. Because I found my mitten the other day and I’m more sure than ever that that’s the way it works.
One of my very favorite things to do when I was little was go to school with my Grandma Rita. She was a kindergarten teacher and I spent tons of time in her classroom when I was little. (And Grandma Roz’s classroom too — she was the art teacher!)
I very distinctly remember walking to school with my Grandma Rita one snowy winter day. There were big flakes falling and I saw a gray scarf tied to a sign and thought it was odd. I asked my grandma what it was doing there — why would someone tie a scarf to a sign like that? My grandma didn’t need anymore than a glance to explain it to me.
Someone probably lost the scarf, somewhere nearby, and whoever found it tied it to the sign hoping that they’d walk by again.
And then she stopped. Looked again. Because the scarf tied to that sign was HER scarf!
I remember feeling absolutely floored. Amazed even. I wondered how many times my grandma might have found something lost to someone else and displayed it for them to find, only to be rewarded with the return of her very own scarf. I remember feeling so happy that I had asked, for being the reason my grandma took a look at that scarf and realized it was hers.
I think about that day often, particularly at this time of year. I’ve displayed tiny hats on parking lot posts and gloves on window sills. And I see it even more often than I do it myself. I think of my grandma and that day every time.
So imagine my delight at finding this:
That is MY mitten. My beautiful, cream colored, handmade, alpaca mitten. It was lost for two days and I was sure it was gone for good. I thought I must have dropped it somewhere between my car and office, but I’d checked the hallways, the parking lot, the area in and around my car, and it was no where to be found.
Two days later, I was headed to the pediatrician with my own little one and there it was. Propped against a bronze bust in the lobby of the building in which I must have dropped it after a meeting earlier in the week. And I had the opportunity to say, like once upon a time my grandma said to me, “That’s MINE!”
The delight! I can’t even explain it! We talked about the kindness of the stranger who picked my mitten up off the ground and left it there for me to find. We talked about my gratitude. We talked about why it’s worth it to take the time.
I wonder if it left a memory like mine.
Legend has it that I once upon a time terrorized my parents with feces. Though it seems out of character, I’ve been told that I’d remove full diapers and smear the contents on the walls in anger once upon a long, long while ago. So a stripe in the underwear, some tiny scissors and a couple of diaper wipes? Not so bad, really. And worth it. Because someone will take care of me again. A scarf tied to a sign. A mitten propped against a bust. Kindness, care, it comes back. In little ways and big. One of many things I want to pass on.