Really, I'm just a mild-mannered mom.
|I want to make one thing very clear. Superpowers do not exist. No one can stop a bullet with his bare chest or melt metal with his mind. None among us can fly without the aid of something that can.
There was a time in my life when I thought it would have been so cool to have some sort of superpower. Anything would do, as long as it was all mine. Supersmarts would have been perfect, with just a bit of extra-ordinary muscle thrown in (just to stay humble).
Life goes on, and I mostly grew up. Sometime between falling in love, getting married and having children, all thoughts of superpowers disappeared. However, within the last few years, it slowly dawned on me that I apparently had at least one amazing, superhuman power, unique to me and shared with no one else in my family. It is the jaw-dropping ability to be able to locate any object, anywhere in the house.
In retrospect, I realize that my mother could do this, which baffled me as a child. If you asked her for anything: bookbags, clean socks, my brother’s Halloween candy, or the cat, she very likely knew where it was. My shoes, which I knew were in front of the couch, would mysteriously end up at the front door, and mom was the only one who knew it.
Now I’m the mom, and I have discovered her secret. I did not want her secret, but like many moms before me I found this Pandora’s box called “housekeeping”, and like a fool I opened it. My mother knew where everything was because she was the only person who ever put stuff away.
The fact that "away" means "the same place every time" doesn’t click for everyone. My husband, who has worked out of the house for years, has on several occasions called me at my office, asking where some item was. He has asked about shoes, backpacks, permission slips, boxes of cereals, and his cell phone. No kidding, he called me at work, looking for his cell phone. But the saddest part of the story is my answer: “Did you check the dining room table?”
Predictably, my family has now credited me with being able to find things that aren’t missing. Take the remote control, for example. It seems I have a psychic connection to each of these devices. I can bravely thrust my hand into the terrifying depths of the couch cushions, suck the remotes out of whatever bolthole they’ve cowered in, and – ta-da – hand it to whomever was looking for it. A chorus of “but I looked there”, sometimes follows this, to which my obvious response is “you didn’t look very hard.” Or sometimes – and this is my personal favorite, because I get to be oh-so-smug afterwards – I find these suckers in some absolutely absurd spot in whatever room the person wandered after leaving the TV, remote in hand.
Despite all my efforts, I cannot relinquish this responsibility of finding everyone’s lost objects. I have tried giving directions, claiming ignorance, ignoring the requests, and even demanded under threat of grounding (even my husband) that they at least try searching for it themselves. I am successfully trumped at each and every turn. My daughter was the one who summed it best. She told me, after a tiring and fruitless fifteen-second search for her DS, “But mom, you have supersmarts! You can find anything.”
If my mother is reading this, you can stop laughing any time.