“Where the hell are my Swatch Watches?” I am guessing that not a single one of you spent the better part of an hour repeating that phrase as you feverishly tried to find your childhood stuffed in a box, like me.
Tomorrow, in celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Handsome #1 is able to dress out of uniform in clothing inspired by his favorite decade. Since he is six and hasn’t even been on earth a decade, finding a favorite is tough. But, he does have a couple of pastel polos, skinny jeans that can be tight rolled and loafers which make him an instant preppy heartthrob and me a last-minute success. That was, of course, until I had the brilliant idea to grab a few classic accessories to complete the look.
I have had a tough time parting with many of my childhood favorites, some call it hoarding, I call it, “take my friends away and I will stab you.” I have several Rubbermaid totes filled with playbills, book reports, passed notes and cherished Barbie and Hot Looks dolls. You will also find the occasional funeral card from some of grandmother’s friends, who I never met, that I found on the floor as a child and knew that I would be going straight to hell if I tossed them in the trash, so they have found an eternal resting place next to my eighth birthday invitations.
I also have my Caboodle, still in tact from 20 years ago, filled with treasures from my youth. I ran up the steps to grab my three Swatch Watches for Finnegan to wear and was stunned to find that they were not where they should have been. OK, that’s a lie. I wasn’t really stunned. It would be stunning that they were lost if I was a meticulous house keeper and organized my life with the detail of someone suffering from OCD, but that is just a lie that I want to live. Instead, I find great solace in stuffing as much %h!+ as I possibly can into drawers, bags and boxes then shutting the closet door.
Soooo, they should have been in that Caboodle, but they were hidden somewhere else. I began my search in all of the likely places. I started in jewelry boxes, no dice. Moved on to memory boxes, nothing. How about in the boys’ closet in the blue container with my name and Geese stickers that my BFFs mom made me for my birthday in first grade? Nope! With all of the usual suspects eliminated, I started to dig deep.
I rifled through beautiful velveteen boxes that look lovely and organized in my closet, but are truly filled with mismatched socks and unfinished needlepoint projects. I ventured under my bed and found a box containing my CT100 final, an envelope of pictures from some weird event that I couldn’t identify and my blue Blossomesque hat, but no watches.
I then moved to my dresser and searched among the costume jewelry trays and overwhelmingly fluffy scarves that filled the top drawer. Suddenly, my hand felt something plastic and my heart skipped. I pulled the treasure from the bottom of the drawer and my eyes filled with tears. I held it tightly not wanting to let go of the memory.
The long white stick with the pink lid had long since lost its two lines. It was utterly useless, even to me, but the feelings that it had once given me all came flooding back. I was scared, I was excited, I was filled with emotions that I had never felt before and I couldn’t bear to toss it then or now. I’ve hidden that bag from my husband, from my kids and from myself. Perhaps it’s gross, perhaps it’s weird, but it’s real and it’s me and it’s what I do and I think more of us than are willing to admit it do these things too.
I cried a little, thinking that I may never see two pink lines again, realizing that another stage of my life may be over. God’s plan is always bigger than mine, so He ultimately decides what my family will be, and I’m OK with that. Plus, I am truly excited about first grade, learning more, losing teeth and becoming independent. I love PreK and those snuggles and hand holds that come along with that last year of really being little. Don’t even get my started on not quite two. When someone runs full speed ahead at your legs, leaps into your arms and covers you with chocolate hugs and kisses, life is complete.
So as I stuffed that Ziploc back of ten or so EPTs to the back of the drawer. Yes, ten. I mean, for real, you didn’t think that if I saved one I didn’t save all of them from all three pregnancies, right? I say, if you’re going to do crazy, go big or go home. I continued my quest for my hot Swatch Watches, but alas, it was time to get kids ready for dinner so I called the search party off.
Even if I had found the Swatches, I am one hundred percent certain that time is standing still on the faces. But, had Finnegan put them on his arm, it would still be 2015; there is no magic taking us back to 1992. That’s OK. I like it here, right now with my life filled with boys and lots of love sans Swatch.….
I am also happy to leave that white mock turtleneck under a denim shirt topped with an icy glare in the past, because, well, damn.…..