Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Mommy, remember when

Hoppy was on the street when I went to the Magic Show?"

This little question took me by surprise because we hadn't talked about the Magic Show or Hoppy's Adventure recently. It's quite the wonder that this blessing from the Lord whom I still think of as a baby is actually walking around lost in his own thoughts.

Almost a month ago, Mitch bought tickets as part of a Dallas Jaycees fundraiser and we took Garrett to his very first magic show at the Dallas Children's Theatre .

Of course, Garrett had chosen that day to refuse to nap and instead passed out in the car on the way to the show. As usual, we were running late. Wanting to get a good seat, I hastily scooped him out of the car seat and we rushed into the theatre. I did not realize that half asleep Garrett was holding on to Hoppy.

Once inside I made a mental note of putting Garrett's coat and hat on the seat beside us. An aside: I believe we have a tentative son. Similar to The Wiggles Show experience Garrett wasn't very excited to be there at the beginning. However, with much encouragement from Mom and Dad, he was on the edge of his seat (Mommy's lap), clapping and volunteering just as the show was ending.

As we got ready to drive away Garrett asked for his Hoppy. In this moment, I should have trusted my son and questioned where Hoppy was. Unfortunately, I thought I knew better and was certain Hoppy did not join our excursion.

It wasn't until we were home and searching for Hoppy that I realized we must have taken him in the theatre. My heart sank and a sick feeling overcame me.

You see, Hoppy is Garrett's lovey. This is not his original lovey , we've lost 2 versions of a lovey in airports before Hoppy joined our family. But it is the lovey that Garrett has connected to and has memory of. Hoppy is the soother of all hurts, calms all fears and brings peaceful sleep. For months, I've said, "I need to order a replacement." Since I didn't take my own advice there was not a replacement Hoppy waiting in the wings.

I held out hope that somehow I could make this right. I immediately called the theatre but they did not answer. An hour had already passed since we left but I was compelled to go back even though Mitch thought I was a loon.

On my drive to the theatre, I held on to hope and kept faith that I would be able to find Hoppy. I'm sure this won't be the last time I hold on to hope or keep faith for my son and I know it wasn't the first. There is a quote by Ruth Bell Graham that I think appropriately sums up my experience "As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible." At this point, it was possible for me to drive back to the theatre but practically impossible I would be able to get inside.

Out of my haste came a defining moment for me in motherhood; a testament to the kind of mother I strive to be. No, not the one that lost Hoppy in the first place but the one who would do anything for her children beyond logical reason and one who no matter how hopeless a situation appears relies upon her faith. I also realized that sick feeling in my stomach wasn't all guilt but was also my experience of my son's heartache over loss. I pray, as I'm sure most parents do, that will be a feeling few and far between.

As I rounded the corner and saw the lights out and doors closed, I still kept the faith. I began driving around the parking lot. I held my breath as I glimpsed a lump in the parking lot. There was Hoppy, a little wet and with a tire mark on him but there he was in one piece.

I called Mitch to relay the good news and he was in awe. We both agree only by the Grace of God was Hoppy there waiting for me. Hoppy took a good bath when I got home and Garrett was allowed to wait up for his friend to get dry. We all slept safe and sound that night and replacement Hoppy's are on their way to our home as I type. You read that right, I did not run out and order replacement Hoppy's the next day as I should have. But the point is they are on their way!

I know that this may seem like a small thing and perhaps I was too wrapped up in the moment but just wait until there is a toddler in your life who has a lovey and you have a hand in its disappearance.

I understand that Garrett may not always carry the memory of "When Hoppy was on the street when I went to the magic show" or even of Hoppy. So when my photography teacher gave us the opportunity to use his studio lights and background I knew Garrett and his Hoppy needed to be documented. Maybe he'll remember if I help him. Last night I matted my studio pictures of Garrett and Hoppy and next week I will frame them for my last class project. I can't wait to hang them in our home to help me remember. Here they are; Garrett and his side kick Hoppy.

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