I still can’t find my car keys. It’s amazing how much of my life hinges upon that one tiny jagged strip of metal. Tear it away and my whole world dissolves into chaos. I lost my car keys over a week ago and I’ve been having to use my spare set ever since, hoping the originals with my favorite key chain and that remote clicky beep-beep thing would magically appear once I got around to all that deep spring cleaning I’ve been meaning to do. They’ve yet to surface.

First of all, it’s amazing I even knew where my spare set was. Thankfully, a friend of mine taught me a few months back to keep my spare set of car keys in the pocket of my 72 hour kit. Genius. Makes so much sense, doesn’t it? I mean, the last thing I want to be searching for in our mad dash out of the house while an imminent, mortal threat nips at our heels is, “Where did I put those blasted keys!!!” And thanks to my ideal childhood, I never did learn how to hot-wire a car. Thanks a lot Mom and Dad.

So let’s just hope there are no mortal threats in our community until I can put my spare set safely back in their emergency pocket where they belong.

The keys aren’t the only thing I’ve lost recently. I have a DVD two weeks overdue at the library and for the life of me, I can not find it! I’ve searched everywhere, in all the logical places. The trouble is, when you have toddlers in the house, your search cannot be limited to “the logical places.” That DVD could be anywhere. Trash, septic tank, crock pot…(I’ve checked there too.) I’ve even offered a generous reward for it’s safe return: A large Wendy’s frosty (I didn’t think our usual 50 cent size would bring any results.) I set the bounty in my most pleasant Snow White voice so as not to scare away any possible confessions. Still no luck. I just hate feeling banned from the library.

But my keys and that DVD just have to be here somewhere, right? Right? I’m not so certain anymore. There are other things we’ve lost throughout the years that I was sure would reappear “when we moved.” With every drawer cleared out and every bit of furniture out of the way, surely they’d reveal themselves. They didn’t. I’m convinced somewhere out there there’s a little discontinued King Arthur action figure watching my library DVD wondering why those keys don’t work in his minivan. 

There are other things I’ve lost too, years ago, like my sanity for instance, that I’ve had to learn to let go. My patience, my grip, my care-free attitude, my youth and that intangible “it.” All lost. But that’s okay. Because somewhere between losing action figures and racking up overdue notices at the library, I found just what I was looking for:

People to call me Mom.

Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, returned missionary, free-lance writer, wife and mother of five small children. Read more on her blog: www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com