Cathy has a meeting at 7pm (11.6 km round trip). I have to get Tommy to STAR by 7pm (51.5 km round trip). Sarah is with her best friend. Amy is going to go with Cathy. And Noah is going with me. 6:30 ding! And they’re off. “Tommy go sit in the car!” “Dad, change Amy’s diaper” “Amy lie down. Wow, you have to take this whole thing off to get to the diaper.” “Someone let the dog out.” “Just pee-pee Daddy. No poop.” “Should I go to the car.” “No[, you’ll fight with your brother].” “Where’s my ____?” “Do I get in the car or the Jeep?” “Someone buckle Amy in.” “Noah hold this towel.” “Ok. Noah go to the Jeep. Take Molly with you but don’t get in. Just stand beside it.” “Come on Amy.” “Where are the dog leashes?” Place leashes, towel etc on hood of Jeep. “Ok Molly. Shake. Shake with the other paw. Clean your back paws.” “Should I let Noah in?” “Not until Molly is in.” Move stuff from hood to inside. “Bye dear! Love you!” “Molly’s clean. Now get in Noah.” 6:37. Two cars to two different exits of the neighborhood.
Where’s my phone?! Must have left it in the red car. Rush back to the house call Cathy. “Nope. I just tried calling you and would have heard it ring.” Walk around the house dialing my phone over and over but its nowhere. Even if it was on vibrate I’d hear it. So tonight our errands had me phoneless.
Finally upon getting home I search the house once more and resolve myself to walk the neighborhood in hopes that it fell from the hood into a nearby neighbor’s yard. I get the urge to check the red car once more and on first try hear nothing. Then on the second attempt I think I detect a vibration. Sure enough. Third attempt and I start triangulating the rhythmic pulses but can’t seem to narrow it down. It’s not between the seat cushion or in the car seat nor in the back of the car or the floor boards. Slowly, my eyes look upward. I gaze at the ceiling as the vibration seems to emanate ever so loudly. Slowly I exit the car and as the climatic music of 2001: A Space Odyssey plays in my head I peer on the roof of the car to discover my cell phone with its little LED flashing "12 missed calls".