K’s Father’s Day Present

It was Wednesday morning, and I couldn’t find my keys. In the rush to get out the door, I did a quick check of the usual places (basket, kitchen counter, dresser, pants pocket), but they weren’t there. Strange, I thought, I wonder where they could be?

Later that day, I began a systematic search of the house, from top to bottom. I looked in drawers, under the couch, behind the fridge…nothing. I checked the numerous bins of Lego in the boys’ room, and while I did find my watch, there were no keys. Beginning to feel slightly manic, I sorted through the garbage with chopsticks on the off-chance they had fallen in there amongst the discarded shrimp shells and leftover vermicelli noodles. No such luck.

I questioned the boys about it, and they said they had no idea where they could be. At one point K did offer, “Daddy, I saw your keys. They were by the iron so I put them under your pillow so you wouldn’t lose them. Or maybe I didn’t.” Sigh.

I became convinced that I had left them in the front door, and some evil, nasty man had walked by and snatched them from the lock. I came home on Thursday and fully expected to find our house ransacked, and then lay awake in bed that night imagining footsteps on the stairs. I could picture the headline: “Local Family Slaughtered, Dad’s Missing Keys to Blame”

After a few frustrating days of being locked out of both home and office, I came to the conclusion that they were fully and completely lost. I cursed my carelessness and made plans to change the lock on the front door.

Just before I walked out the door yesterday, I looked in an old Spiderman gift bag that was hanging on a hook in the boys’ room. There, at the bottom of the bag, were my keys.

With a mixture of relief and frustration, I immediately confronted the A and K about this unexpected discovery.

Me: “O.K., who put my keys in the bag?”

K: “I did, Daddy. It’s a present for you. For Father’s Day.”

Of course. K, with his fertile four-year-old mind, decided to take my keys from the front hall basket on Tuesday night and put them in the gift bag. He kept it a secret for five days because he didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

In a strange way, it was a cool Father’s Day present. It was completely unexpected, and was exactly what I wanted. Well played, K, well played…

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