It’s 8pm and I’ve just left my mom, 7 month old baby, and nephew standing outside my locked car in the parking structure at the mall as I speed walk back to the stores we visited in search of my lost car/house keys.
Despite the fact that I’m a natural worrier/over thinker, when it comes to moments like these this unusual calm always takes over me and my sense of humor kicks into high gear. And as I’m rushing back to the mall I can’t help but laugh out loud as I wonder how in the heck I got myself into this predicament. Really though, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Earlier in the evening my mom and I had decided we would make a quick stop at the mall to pick up a birthday gift for my niece at The Disney Store. At the last minute my brother called us and since they had a bunch of errands to run for Madi’s birthday party, they asked if they could leave Jake, my nephew, with us for a while. Since we were all hungry, and in order to make things quick, we figured we’d eat at McDonald’s and then get my niece’s gift and head back home. So off we were, and after eating, getting the gift, and making a pit stop at Sephora we were all set.
But now here I was, emptying all the contents of my purse, checking my pockets, the stroller, the diaper bag, back to my purse, in search for my keys. And although my mom wasn’t saying anything, I kept hearing her soft voice in my head, all those countless times she’s told me to place my keys in the same place. Why didn’t I ever listen?
Rather than haul everyone back into the store they decided to wait for me as I rushed back to our first stop, McDonald’s. No one had turned in some car keys. Next stop, The Disney Store. Nothing. The employee there suggested I try Security at the Concierge station. Great idea! For all I knew I may have dropped the keys en route to one of our stops. A tiny sense of panic crossed my mind at that thought but my super calm self quickly put a cap on that emotion. So I approach the two ladies attending the concierge desk and explain my predicament. Unfortunately no one had turned in any car keys. And the more information I told them, the funnier the situation became to me. The lady helping me thought this was really amusing, the fact that I was so calm. Especially considering that I told her I had our 7 month old baby and no spare car key. She said usually people who had lost their keys approached their desk in panic and some in tears. And yet hear I was, calm and laughing. She said I had such a happy attitude and optimistic outlook. That made me even more calm.
After leaving her my information I walked back to McDonald’s and I had this sense that the keys had to be there. When I had asked earlier they were really busy and now that I was back it had slowed down, but again the manager told me nobody had turned in any keys. Then I asked the only other thing I could think of…would it be alright if I checked the trash where we’d dumped our wrappers? Honestly, at that point, what have I got to lose? So I made my way to the very back where we had sat and there was a lady cleaning up/taking out some trash and I asked her if I could check one of the bins. Thankfully when she pulled the trash bag out, I realized that the stuff we had thrown away was at the very top, so she brought me some gloves.
The most beautiful noise in the world at that moment was when I shook the happy meal box my nephew had gotten and heard a soft rattle, followed by the feeling of sheer happiness when I pulled out the wrappers we’d stuffed into the happy meal and saw my keys at the very bottom! I had never been so excited to see a happy meal. The first thing I did was thank the Lord out loud for having found the keys and wishing the lady God’s blessing.
And I have to wonder, really, is there no limit to my absent mindedness?