I like the color orange on my kids. The derth of colors in the boy sections of clothing stores makes orange a particularly great color. The real reason though is that it is easy to pick out in a crowd. For some reason, orange makes it possible for me to feel less worried I will lose my kids.
I have a tendency to overthink the possibility of losing my kids. I think most young parents are the same. Even though my boys are not twins, I find myself dressing them awfully similar for outings so that I can remember what they have on. I have scoured the internet looking for temporary tattoos to put on the kids with identifying information to put on them, just in case. I love that our family last name is so short and was so easy to learn and memorize…having a short first name is even better so my kids will never forget it. I look for particularly unusual shoes and sneakers for my boys. I learned that often times the shoes are the last to change if a child gets snatched. The light-up ones are really the best inventions. Apparently Disneyworld is THE place for the most up-to-date methods to identify your kids. They shut that place down in seconds the minute someone shouts their kid is missing. We haven’t been, but we will.
I don’t like to get lost, GPS is my best friend. I won’t get an I-phone cause its navigation doesn’t talk to you. I need constant communication for my first go to a place. My boys hate it even more when I am lost even with GPS (yes that is possible). Mommy is not at her best in that moment. My little guy has an uncanny knowledge of location. He will often challenge my way home if it is slightly different from the usual path. He will let me know that the way to Aunt A’s house is the same way to the Fair, to camp and the nature center in Connecticut. The little stinker is so right! I can’t wait till he drives me around.
I memorize landmarks avidly and my dear husband has been known to drive me to a location for a “dry run” so I can do it by myself the next time. I am not afraid to be lost, but afraid I won’t be able to get home. The thought of having to stay elsewhere when home is the destination is no fun at all. I know there are really sound reasons for my mild panick at getting lost. But the crazy thing is that I don’t remember being lost, not consciously. Is it sense memory?
Learning the particulars of the missing three years of my life from 3-6 years have affirmed for me my particular reasons for this fear of not knowing where I am going. I have always attributed my need to know as an adoption thing, but watching my boys makes me realize that there is something in their DNA that demands the full itinerary of every travel expedition. I think it is an inate thing for a kid to have the boundaries of a beginning, middle and end to a trip, a story, a day. And to know that it will end with a settling in their own bed is essential to security and a sound sleep.
So we are planning a big vacation during the holiday season and we are all looking forward to it. It has been fun planning our outings, but knowing that at the end of it, we will come back home to the same place is almost as important as a good time elsewhere in the world. There is no place like home after all. That is the happily ever after.