And so, that afternoon, following her younger brother's nap, we retraced our steps back to the park. We searched high and low, near the monkey bars, under the slide, in the sandpit, and over the rock maze. Couldn't find it. I didn't have the heart to break it to her. Well, she broke the news to me. "Mama, don't worry, we haven't found it yet, but that doesn't mean we won't. There are a million places it can be." Yup, onnnnnnnne million, that's right, so another 999,985 places to search. Super!
So this fix-it box, that is packed to the brim, started off as a shoe box and has grown over the years to be the size of a packing box. It seems Bayla has forgotten that I also have a tote bag that includes clothes that need to be repaired, hemmed, or spruced up. For all intensive purposes, that's where the coat belongs, but I cut her some slack, as that bag is bursting at the seams too (literally).
The fix-it box includes a car that lost its front right wheel, a photo album whose binding has come undone, a stuffed cuddly sheep with some fluff poking out, a book (or two) with some torn pages, a miniature doll house that has started looking less like a palace and more like a barn, a few hair clips whose flowers have gone AWOL, sunglasses with only one lens, a painted pine cone that snapped in half, and some dolls with missing arms, heads, and hair. Just to name a few items.
As tedious as it is making my way through the contents of the box, and trying to fix something as quick as another 'precious' item is added, it brings tremendous joy to me. My husband and I love DIY projects. We are do-it-yourself junkies. Why hire someone to do a job when we can do it ourselves, with more attention to detail, and certainly more love. We've painted our apartment, renovated our bathroom, made our own custom sized window screens to keep those pesky mosquitoes out, and replaced the heaters and thermostats throughout the house. Just a few of the tasks we've been able to cross of our projects-list. Future items include tasks like window casing, textured headboards, crown molding, and built in book cases, just to name a few.
I think (or rather, I hope) we've passed on our can-do attitude to our young-ins. Not once have I heard my children say, "oh let's just throw it out, we can buy a new one." Despite it usually being less time consuming and often more of a money saver to go out and buy a new item, I don't mind these requests my children make. Many times, we brainstorm together how we'll fix the latest mishap, other times they come up with their own solutions, and sometimes I surprise everyone with my own creative fix.
And, well, Bayla was right (she usually is, why do I doubt her?). We found her button. We ventured off the beaten path on the way home from the park that afternoon, through a little "forest" as we like to call it. And lo and behold, there it was, lying right under the funny shaped tree we often stop to gaze at. 'Ahhh,' I was able to let out a sigh of relief, 'the magical giant pink button.' I had forgotten we took this "short cut" in the morning (it's actually a less direct path, but don't tell my kids, we love the scenic route). I sunk into the comfiest chair at home and promptly sewed on the bright button before putting up dinner. As I chopped up some vegetables for the soup, I couldn't help but smile, as I lived up to my title as the Master Finder.