Sometimes, you need more than a smile. You need an umbrella.

Sometimes, you need more than a smile. You need an umbrella.

If last week’s rainstorms taught me anything, it’s how often we lose things around here. On Saturday I had to buy three umbrellas at Jewel, because we were down to our last one and, naturally, I was worried that if it rained again anytime soon, everyone else in my family would get wet.

Our umbrellas get lost at school. On buses. In cabs. Our umbrellas get taken home by the wrong person at post volleyball game cookouts and are never seen again, even if it happens to be a very special umbrella that one of my sons won at the Euro Challenge two years ago and happens to be really proud of. Apparently, its new family doesn’t see any wrong in keeping someone else’s umbrella that inadvertently (I hope!) came home with their child after a post volleyball game cookout, when clearly they know it’s not theirs because where in the &^*% would they get a Euro Challenge umbrella?

Our umbrella’s get lent to people who leave our house in the rain, only to have them repay our kindness by losing said umbrella or never returning it.

Gloves and hats go missing regularly at our house, too. We start the winter with full hat and glove drawers, only to find, by mid-March or so, we have only one half-full drawer that contains nothing but unmatched mittens and that one ancient knit Cubs hat with the giant hole in it. It’s become so bad, I’ve caught my children hoarding winter headgear and gloves. Seriously. I’m not going to name names, but if you’re in our house looking for a matching pair of knit gloves I would not look in Kyle’s underwear drawer.

Me, on the other hand, I don’t lose things. In my entire life I think I lost like, maybe one scarf. In fact, I have a gold cross pen that the Flying Team gave me as a send-off gift in 1987 that I have worn in my shirt pocket on every single flight I’ve worked since then. The husband, I suspect, wishes I were better at losing things, especially when he goes up into our cluttered attic and doesn’t have to wonder where our children get their tendency to hoard.

Actually, I’m just the opposite of people who misplace things. I have the Mom gift of finding things. Where are my keys? On the bathroom sink where you left them. Where are my black jeans? In the laundry. Where is that stack of money I got from the ATM and left on the kitchen counter? I spent it on new umbrellas.

I must admit I'm growing weary of buying disposable knit gloves in two-for-a-dollar packets at Walgreens and also, of wearing a knit Cubs hat with a giant hole in it to April home games. And the next time it rains and there are no more umbrellas to be found, I will tell my family to "Just let a smile be your umbrella" and make sure they don't look in my underwear drawer.

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