Friday, November 23, 2012

I Am Thankful For...Garden Hoses

Over the past almost five years, Alec has become very close with a walrus stuffed animal. Early on, we named him Dozer. Alec and Dozer have gone on many adventures together, and Dozer sleeps in Alec's bed every night.

A few months ago there was a big kid's consignment sale in our area. Chad stayed home with the boys while I went to power shop for a year's worth of clothing for two boys in three hours. As I was browsing the racks of snowsuits, my phone rang. I saw that it was Chad and immediately began to worry. He knew that I was a woman on a mission, so I knew he wasn't just calling to say hi or ask me what the kids had for lunch.

When I answered, Chad asked me if I had seen Dozer. I said I had not. I knew Alec had him outside earlier, but I didn't see where he had ended up. Chad proceeded to tell me that Alec said that Dozer was on the back bumper of my car. The car that I had driven to the consignment sale. Alec is usually pretty accurate with these statements, so I began to get a sinking feeling in my stomach.

Chad agreed that they would keep an eye out for him and text me if he was found. Every five minutes I checked my phone to see if Chad had texted me. When I got in my car to leave, I still didn't have a text from Chad, so I called him. Dozer hadn't been found. They had even gone on a walk to see if Dozer had fallen off the car somewhere, but there was no sign of Dozer.

I felt like the worst mother ever for dragging my son's favorite stuffed animal onto the highways of Pennsylvania, where I was sure he had fallen into a ditch somewhere, never to be seen again. I drove all the way home about 15 miles under the speed limit so that I could keep an eye out for him on the road in the hopes that maybe I would spot him. I'm sure the people behind me loved that.

The whole way home I fought the tears back. I clung to the hope that Chad had found Dozer somewhere at home, and Chad was clinging to the hope that I found Dozer on my way back. Sadly neither of these things happened.

Once inside the house I started coming to terms with the realization that Dozer was gone. Then the tears came. Now those who know me know that I don't cry easily. I cry if an animal gets hurt on TV, but that's about it. I'm usually a rock. It's actually kind of disturbing sometimes. But some motherly hormone in me took over my body and I just couldn't stop the tears. I had turned my son's favorite stuffed animal into roadkill.

Chad, being the incredible husband he is, was getting ready to go out at 10 o'clock at night and drive around looking for a stuffed walrus. He really is a great husband and dad. For whatever reason, he decided to walk around outside the house one more time before he left. And I couldn't be happier that he did, because a few minutes later I saw him walking past a window, flashlight in one hand and Dozer in the other.

It turns out Dozer had been hanging out on the garden hose. Alec must have set him there before running off to play with something else.

I seriously couldn't have been happier. I don't know if I was even this happy on my wedding day. Ok, I'm sure I was, but this was a close second.

The next morning, I told Alec where we had found Dozer. His response? "Oh yeah, I guess I did put him there."

So today I am thankful for garden hoses. Because if we didn't have a garden hose, then Dozer probably would have sat back down on the bumper of my car. And I'd probably still be sobbing today, instead of taking this photo:

*In the spirit of Thanksgiving, "I Am Thankful For..." is a blog challenge I have decided to do during the month of November. Each day I will pick one thing that I am thankful for and blog about it. Obviously I am extremely thankful for the many things in my life I am blessed with, such as a wonderful family, my health and my family's health, great friends, a roof over my head, food on the table, and more. But this series is about all the other day-to-day things that I sometimes take for granted and that make life just a little bit better -- you know, the little things. To see a list of all the posts in this series, please click here.

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