Lost and Found

These days, I spend much of my time feeling lost, like a kid’s sweatshirt at the bottom of a towering bin in the school office. Everything is dark. Which way is up? Will I be here forever?

But just as often, I am found. Brought back home by the smallest thing or moment. Every day, sometimes every hour, I am lost and then found again. Round and round I go, stuck in the revolving door of these unprecedented times.

I wake up and remember I have to fill an entire summer with my kids, but without any of the usual fillings or help.

Lost.

My six-year-old daughter splashes and screeches with joy in an inflatable pool on our tiny patio, her lone front tooth hanging hilariously like a cartoon character’s.

Found.

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Lost.

Cup of Noodles for all.

Found.

Police brutality at the police brutality protests.

Utterly lost.

A nation actualizing the largest civil rights movement in world history, despite being in the middle of a pandemic.

Fucking found.

The never-ending mound of dishes.

Lost.

Paper plates.

Found.

Realizing that what I thought were close relationships cannot bear the weight of these times.

Lost.

The clarity that some relationships are even stronger than I knew.

Found.

“Mom, look at this! Mom, Mom…”

Lost.

Piling in bed after dinner every night with my kids and husband to binge watch past seasons of “Chopped Junior.”

Found.

“Will I see my elderly, out-of-state parents before they die?”

Lost.

This handful of Skittles right here.

Found.

Waiting 12 years to get both kids into full-day school so I could finally reclaim myself, my time, and a career, only to be thrust into homeschooling them.

Lost.

My husband offering to take time off work so I can drive far, far away, even if I just sit in my car, all alone.

Found.

Three-day-long migraines and five-day-long periods.

Lost.

Increased pet snuggles.

Found.

“I don’t know how I’m gonna make it through this day in one piece.”

Lost.

“It’s already bedtime?!”

Found.

Working tirelessly on a novel for the past four years, only to have it finally come out now, all events cancelled.

Lost.

Getting messages from total strangers that say things like, “This is the first book I’ve read that captures the combination of relentlessness and love that defines modern motherhood. I felt seen and understood at a time when I really, really needed to feel seen and understood. Thank you.”

Found.

Lack of adult conversation.

Lost.

Lack of bra and pants.

Found.

Grieving the social development and irreplaceable memories that kids are being robbed of.

Lost.

The simplicity of the days, including a break from the God-forsaken school pick-up line, daily shuttling, and constant busyness.

Found.

Life will never be the same again.

Lost.

Life will never be the same again.

Found.