Today everyone was up early. I woke at 5:50 hoping to have some time to read the Bible and write. I made a bowl of corn flakes, grabbed my things, sat down to the table with a window swung open to the beautiful quiet morning. At 6 am (5 minutes from sitting down) boys started making their way into the dining room...insisting on talking, non-stop talking. I asked for quiet. Quiet for one minute, more questions -- "no-talking, please." (repeat scenario 20x) It was futile. At 6:25 Brad came out, and I escaped upstairs to the desk for 10 minutes. That was the beginning of the day. Rejoice always, again I say rejoice. Thankfulness. Serve with gladness. I mean, heck, I'd rather have this wonderful motley crew of people to take care of and love and be loved by then have all the un-interrupted Quiet Early Mornings of my heart's content. But still the gratitude is mixed with some disappointment and some surly aargh-ness (the first being okay if not acted on sinfully and the latter just being plain sin -- me wanting what I want when I want it -- not much different from my kids wanting my attention and conversation and breakfast -- when they want it).
Well when Brad left with Atticus for the bus, I got everyone else dressed. We gathered our things. I grabbed my wallet to put in with the shopping totes. We went to Cub and collected our enormous allotment of weekly groceries. The kids were unruly (for their usual behavior at stores -- which, I am thankful, is normally pretty well-behaved). There were many stern directives given and one public spanking (I tried to find a corner away, but it was the meat section so...). Then we went to check out. I had everything run through and was three-quarters through bagging, when I went to pay. I did not have my wallet. Except I had my wallet when I left the van and when I began in the produce section because I remember checking on it and seeing it. So I frantically looked through all the bags of bagged groceries. Then I had the cart "suspended" and went out with the three kids to search the car. No wallet. Then I came back in and unloaded every bag and reloaded it into the cart. No wallet. I load up a different cart with the three kids and look through the entire store on the path we had taken. I went to the customer service counter and had my name put down. The extremely nice (and un-flummoxed) Cub manager, who know us by face, said she was going to go in the deep freeze, where they had put our cart of food, and check through all the bags in case it took a second pair of eyes to find it. I loaded everyone in the van and went back home.
Now, today is also the last day of Atticus' school year, and we had planned to pick him up at school (10:30 is when he is done) and go to the beach and play for an hour or so to celebrate. Now it is 9:30 am. I get everyone into the house. I walk over to the kitchen and there is my wallet sitting on top of the waffle maker. I open it. Everything is there -- my credit card is in the top slot where it always is. I sigh. I gather all the kids again, run up stairs to get something, come back down and we get in the car.
I get back to Cub, go to customer service, the manager sees me and calls for the cart to be brought out to the check-out lane. We go over to pay. I get out my wallet, open it, and there is no credit card. Right. No credit card. I take everything out, not there. I check my skirt pockets, nothing. I look in the tote bag I brought as a purse. Not there. I am speechless. I wish I could say I thought it was funny, but really I just wanted to scream and cry and sink into oblivion. Then I remember I have cash from the diapers I sold last week. I knew that I had some, but it would only pay for part of the groceries. I begin taking things out of every bag that aren't necessities, or can wait until the end of the week. Slowly the poor, utterly-patient check-out lady and I get it down to under the amount of cash I have. I pay, re-bag the groceries and we head back home. I unload the groceries. I look everywhere for the card - no where to be seen. Then as I gather our swim things with only minutes to spare to get Atticus, Lincoln comes around the corner from the other room. "Hey, Mom, here's your card." He hands me the credit card. I say, "Lincoln -- where did you find this?!?" "Oh, over here..." He walks over to a little preschool toy with compartments and drawers and points to the sliding drawer. Oh. Oh....Lincoln. Oh my.
Epilogue: We made it to Atticus' school as his class was leaving the classroom for the bus. We donned kid-swimsuits and applied sunblock and headed to the beach.