My daughter and her three kids just moved to a new apartment across the street from me. I work day shift and my daughter works nights. I get home about two hours before she leaves for work so I am there with my three grandkids while they sleep.
One day she was called into work early, so my son went to her apartment until I could get there. When he went to leave, he couldn’t find his key ring. His 5-year-old son had been playing music with it. Things were still chaotic from the move, so it could have fallen into any open box. All of us, two adults and four kids, looked everywhere, sometimes more than once.
When my daughter came home in the morning, she looked too. No keys. We all looked for two days. No keys. We had given up, and my son was making arrangements to re-key the ignition, a very costly endeavor. Then it happened. Even though we had all looked for it in the toy box, even though we all looked through it and said, “It isn’t there”, my daughter found the key ring in her 2-year-old’s toy box. She said “I just looked where it isn’t again”.
The origin of this lesson was almost 25 years ago. My kids were almost ready for school, but my son couldn’t find his other shoe. We were a household with only one income, so financially I focused mostly on our needs. Since we only needed one pair of shoes at a time, it was critical that I find it.
I looked in all the regular places where he normally left his shoes. I looked under the bed, I looked under all their clothes, and I looked under the couch. On my way to look in the bathroom, I walked past the hamper. I hesitated for a second, and I distinctly remember thinking “No, it isn’t there”, and went on to look in the bathroom. Nope…not there either. On my way back to the living room, I passed by the hamper and decided to look in it anyway. Yes, his shoe was in the hamper.
I think I was reading a Dr. Seuss book to one of my grandkids when I came across the phrase “look where it isn’t”. I remembered instantly about finding my son’s shoe when my instincts told me to look in the hamper, but my mind said,” it isn’t there”.
When my kids were little, I was not a Dr. Seuss fan. I thought the characters looked too bizarre and his writing was too weird. My kids didn’t even like him. Now that I’m older, I realize how much he understood about life and how he was trying to convey that knowledge through his writing. Quite frankly, I think he was actually trying to help the adults too.
I just spent over an hour “Googling” that phrase so I could tell you what book it came from, but it isn’t showing up. It would seem to be that either my memory is mistaken or, and this is most likely, that because I’m looking where it isn’t, it probably is.
So, thank you, Dr. Seuss. You have helped me…and my grown children…find many things by looking where we didn’t think it was, and now even my grandkids know to “look where it isn’t”.
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My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.