Mom’s Search For Meaning

I spend about 83.2% of my time looking for stuff.

And, no, this is NO exaggeration.

There are things that just have to be found: the best deal at the stores, shoes, pacifiers, whatever it is that is causing that stench under the back seat of my minivan. (and boy that’s a squeeze for these hips that have birthed four children). Ticks. (We’ve got a lot of those in the South) Where is that darn coupon? I filed it right here! Oh, and the library books…oh those library books. They never go away, except when they are due and can’t be renewed.

The list goes on. Which can of tomato soup is the oldest? Where in the world is that bill that needs to be paid. (He didn’t follow the system of what basket it goes in…you ladies know what I am talking about.) “Oh, yes, kids, I know exactly where that missing game piece is.”

There are the more complex things to look for. The homework that somehow didn’t make it back in the backpack. The bra with just the right amount of padding for a ten year old. The stuff at the pharmacy that will magically cure my husband of his snore before he goes to Scout Camp.

The other night brought a fun challenge. “Mom, do you remember that paper that my teacher sent home on the first day of school? It has my log in and password for the website on it. I need it. My teacher says it will be a pain to look up my number. He can look it up if you can’t find the paper, but it will be a pain.” (Um, what about me here? Seriously? Are you kidding me? That was what? 5, 6 weeks ago?) “Yes honey, I would love to spend the next 1/2 hour searching. It’s my favorite thing to do. You know I love to find things.” Lucky for me I keep most papers that look remotely important. Unlucky for me, we had put this paper in the girls keepsake tote not my pile to be filed. There went another hour to tack onto my fake time clock. Man, if I could just punch in and out. I would ask for minimum wage. No one could afford to pay me a higher salary.

Then there are the most important Mom searches. The ones with meaning. Are those lying eyes? What does that smirk on his face mean? Is that a tear rolling down my daughter’s cheek? Or is that not a tear when there should be one? Where is she hiding and why is she hiding? Why is this one crying and the other one hiding?

How about the searches we like to avoid? Am I doing a good enough job here? Have I got through to my children in the areas of the utmost importance? Do they know I love them? Do they know they are of infinite worth? Do they know that they can accomplish their goals? Do they have goals? Do they believe in what is right? Have I been a good example? Do my kids know I would do anything for them? That I will always be here for them? Will they tell me when they are in trouble?

I love it when the searches are for fun random items. Just this week, I have looked for light sabers at least 20 times. They needed them to read their library books before bed.

Trust me when I say we can do this all night.

Once in a lifetime, as a mother, you find the best find ever. The other night it came out of Sophia’s journal. It would have been so much sweeter if I hadn’t just got onto the girls about keeping track of their “own crap” (in my exact words). It may not have meant as much if my frustration hadn’t mounted.

If you can’t read the photo, it says:
“My hero is: mommy. Because: she can find anything.”

Needless to say, I think I will be spending that 83.2% of my time with a smile on my face and love in my heart. I’m a hero now. It makes my searching so much more enjoyable.

Now, I am off to find the baby. Where did I leave her?
Oh, and the cat. Can’t lock up without her inside.


  1. Cute. I love what kids say. The other day I bought Ryan his favorite yogurt. He came up to me and gave me a hug and said, “Mommy! I love it! I'm so proud of you!” It helps make up for all the time I serve him dinner and he pretends like he's dying so that he doesn't have to eat the food. Frame that diary page:).

  2. Oh My Dear Alice…
    I can relate to everything you said.

    I remember a song…
    about a Mothers Day all of the tough stuff… then it says.

    But tucking them in bed at night they pat my cheek and hold me tight and whisper…

    Mommy I love you.

    Then everything that went wrong is made right. It is all about the little things… really it is.

    I am so glad you posted. I was sure missing you girlfriend.


  3. I love this Alice — and can very much relate to the “searching for things” thing. Matt is worse than the kids at times as far as keeping track of his “own crap” to quote a wise woman I know…. 😉

    You made me laugh…you made me cry…and reading your blog is always a good way to start my day. Glad you posted! ((HUGS))

  4. at least the things you are looking for actually exist…after I have went into a panic looking for something for my kids, I get something like this,…”oh, yeah, I let someone borrow it” Nevermind, I found it in the lost and found” or “guess what? I found it in my locker at school” and people wonder why I am crazy! lol!

  5. I LOVED this post…I just want to copy and paste it onto my blog:) It is so true and yet I didn't even realize everything I look for until I read this and realized I am looking for those exact same things too! Luckily it's soooo worth it in the end…right?!!

  6. Your like a superhero, all you need is like a one piece strethcy leotard and a mask! You could be findawoman or seekergirl. Awesome!!

    PS thanks for all the 2 bags of goodies.

  7. Okay so I am glad you are back to writing again! I love this post, and even more that you are a hero for being a great mom. You make me really reflect about why I am yelling at my kid for leaving 3 jackets at school and forgetting her lunchbox 3 days in a row!

  8. Great post Alice! I love reading your blog, you have an eloquent way of writing yours thoughts. …..oh,and by the way… you won't find anything for LG's snoring, he needs to come in and see me. He and Tim R., and Jeff V. can all do a Sleep Study together! Quick,before I go on maternity leave! 😛

  9. Perfect in every single way. It's so true! And if I was more organized, I probably wouldn't be searching for so much meaning in the piles, right? Loved that perspective from your sweet girl – Ellie gave me a note tonight that said “best friends forever” – seriously made my day.

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