I was so careful. I took scrupulous notes while the kids quickly ripped through all of their birthday presents from their friends after their party in June. We even wrote half the notes before school ended, so they could deliver them in class to those whose addresses we didn't know. We were going to write the rest before we left for Texas but didn't. And I remember putting the thank-you notecards and list away. In a safe place.
Kiss of death.
For the last week, I have been searching for that list to no avail. I looked in every cabinet, shelf, drawer and other surface I could think of. Nothing. Even the basement. And the porch. I was like a madwoman, suddenly hopping up to check another possible place. The kids looked; Mama looked. Nothing. I was ashamed the cards were going to be late, embarrassed that we'd only thank them for coming and for the "great gift," because at this distance, no one could remember who gave whom what. I hate being disorganized and having clutter in the house, of which losing things in a clear sign for me. And as I rushed around searching everywhere, I became more depressed about the lack of timely thank-yous and the clutter in the house.
Yeah, Mama loved coming home to me every night.
I awoke in the middle of the night, remembering that I stashed the cards and list together. Miraculously, I found the cards under shirts in the back of a drawer. But no list. Mama felt behind it to see if it had gotten stuck.
I then recalled finding the list in a funny place before putting it somewhere safe. Was that a real memory or my mind playing tricks?
Mama asked last night if the list were on the magnetic chalkboard wall in the kitchen. No, I'd checked there several times.
And then, in a dream, I remembered that I'd been looking for the wrong thing. The list wasn't alone on that sheet of paper--it was on the back of all the parents' cell phone numbers.
Which I had put on the chalkboard wall.
Sure enough, I came down this morning and went right to the list of cell phone numbers, plain as day, which I'd looked at and passed dozens of times in the last week.
And there, on the back, was the complete list of birthday presents and givers. In a very safe place.
The kids are writing those cards today!