Things hidden and uncovered
There’s just no way around it anymore. It’s true: The owl hat is missing.
I don’t know how it escaped us. In part, I guess I can blame the warm faux-Spring weather last week for taking it out of the regular (daily) wardrobe rotation, but even that doesn’t explain how it just vanished, post-1972 World Chess Championship Bobby Fischer-style. Whither thou, owl hat?
I’ve torn her bed apart, pressing my nose to the space between the wall and the mattress. I’ve slithered under the passenger and driver’s seats of our car, breathing heavily and groping through fetid sippy cups, a cornucopia of crumbs and a bevy of long-lost raisins. I’ve searched every bag hanging on the hook by the door, unloaded the clothes from the hamper one by one, sifted through the stuffed animal basket and interrogated her school’s staff.
Nothing. Zip. No hat.
Throughout all of this, Rosie has remained unconcerned. She hasn’t asked for it, not even one time. I finally decided it was worth the fallout, just to ask her and see if she had some inside sneaky kid knowledge of its hiding place that she had not shared with us, but when I said, casually, “Hey Rosie, do you know where your owl hat is?” she just said “Yeah, in my bed.” But before I could even point over to her stripped bare mattress to to disagree she had already become absorbed in some other distraction.
I suppose that’s the worst part about it. She’s moved on to new pursuits, while I cling to the hope that this hat she once loved so fiercely will turn up in the pantry, or among the folded towels, or crumpled into the bedsheets. That we’ll find it, put it back on her head and convince time to let her stay small, just for a little while longer.