There’s a deeply implied assumption in day to day consciousness that losing your kids probably won’t happen. Not losing your kids permits you to operate in a relatively low conscious gear that ambles lazily through non-essential desires, minor complaints, not so traumatic memories, and impotent little wishes that don’t motivate you enough to make them happen. You know? You’re just thinking about a bunch of nothing and losing your kids is low on your radar. But actually losing your kids? Now we’re talking about inhabiting a razor sharp consciousness that processes information faster than Neo in The Matrix. It’s kind of a rush but this post by no means advocates for losing your kids. I would avoid it if you can. But if you do, prepare for a mind altering experience. Let me explain.
It begins with me and my 2 kids at the baggage claim at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. It’s not a small place. There’s plenty of potential for losing your kids but, again, we tend to live under the impression that losing your kids is not a thing in the realm of things that happen. We’re all tired from a busy week at my parents and a long day of traveling and we all know that we’re merely an HOUR away from bed but baggage claim, airport, irritability, murder fantasies. Eventually, we get our bags, which always feels like such a welcome green light to proceed but this is when my son, 15, often overly convinced of being right when he is wrong, says “Taxis are this way,” and starts walking the wrong way. I tell him “No. They’re this way,” and start walking the right way. My daughter is behind me. I SWEAR TO GOD. My daughter followed me.
Now, even though we’re walking toward different doors, we’re walking in the same direction so I spend a lot of awareness on just keeping track of my son (because my daughter is “behind me”). When we get to our respective exits, I yell through cupped hands “I THINK IT’S OUT THIS DOOR HERE THAT SAYS ‘TAXIS’,” and he concedes. We go outside, walk to the taxi line, and that’s when the enormous hole in the world opens up in the form of my daughter’s absence. “My God, where’s your sister?” I mutter, almost to myself, because I’m mostly absorbed in my vision: my eyes are zinging and darting and all they’re seeing is NOT a little girl with yellow hair.
The earth is a small planet roaring around one measly star in a galaxy of 100s of billions of stars and there are at least 100 billion of these galaxies (filled with 100s of billions of stars all with planets in their orbits with moons in their orbits to boot) in the OBSERVABLE universe. One imagines that the unobservable universe is probably much, much bigger than the part we can see. Somewhere, a woman in a yellow dress has lost her keys. A lot of people are lately combing through generations of generations of ancestry. Everything in the whole world is made up of only 26 letters. Stop. How many things are happening right now? So much, right? But it’s still all the same thing, you know? A simultaneous explosion of form and light. Pause a moment to think about your friends, your lovers, your family. How, with all that sand on the beach, did we ever, in all these worlds, find each other?
LOWWWLAAAA! At the top of my lungs, like a madman – a cautious careful madman – walking at a brisk clip through the airport but slowly enough to scan the freckles of every face in that galaxy of people. 10 times? 15 times? Maybe more. LOWWWLAAAA! People staring at me, frightened, either of me or of the intuitive understanding that I have lost it all.
And then, like rain, an L, the letters, an O, fall, another L, into place, an A, and there she is, Lola, crying in the airport, lost in a galaxy gone crazy with stars, and I am so mad and relieved and scared and overjoyed that I’m in more pieces than I understand.
“I turned around to go back to the the the baggage thing. My backpack. And then – I don’t know – you were gone.” And none of it mattered, the story, who did what, who was wrong, the way things happened, because the hole in the world was now blurred over by a little girl and everything was whole again and I held her hand all the way to the taxi that took us home to our little grain of sand on the beach.
Read more from me at Black Hockey Jesus.
Recent posts: Top 5 Things To Talk About With Your Son On An Airplane, Frozen Popcorn, The Biological Father, I Don’t Know What’s Best For Kids, On The Reality Of Stuffed Animals, How My Daughter’s Wish Undermined My Faith In The Validity Of Memories, Kanye West, No Grown-Ups, Letting Lean In Be, Top 5 Educational Activities For Summer Fun, Picking Candy, Dancers, Townspeople, Chorus, The Baseball Game With My Kids