A little disorganization may sometimes lead to buried treasure

My pocket notebook, which serves as the external hard drive to my own mind – where I jot down ideas and observations that would otherwise slip through the wide cracks of my brain – is missing. I’ve searched all the logical places (the freezer, the kids’ play kitchen, etc.), and now I am pushing our heavy, wooden queen bed aside: the final frontier.

Underneath is a galaxy of tentacled dust webbed around Legos, hair ties and a billion New Yorker subscription cards. It’s like the opening scene of the latest Martha Stewart horror flick.

The kids are thrilled.

“Oh! I was wondering where these went,” Col, 7, says reaching for a glittery hair tie.

“Those are mine Coley, because you don’t actually have much hair,” Rose, 4, tells him.

Poor Col, it’s hard for him to find his place in Rose’s sparkly world of dress up. Last week – our house full of girls – when roles of queen and princess were being doled out, Col said, “Um, could I be the family parrot?”

We dredge out from the underworld of our bed: artwork from when Col used to sign his name backwards: LOC; enough pennies to buy nothing; and a scrapbook that a NICU nurse made for us when Col was a preemie hospitalized in Denver.

Rose thumbs through Col’s scrapbook, squinting at the photos of a scrawny baby wrapped in a sprawl of tubes and wires. “Why is Col so sad?” she asks. And it’s true, in the pictures taken by Col’s beloved nurse, he grimaces, his forehead lined like a worried old man. “Because he missed his Mama and Daddy,” I tell her, which wrings my own heart like a sponge.

I give the kids piles of stuff to take to the garbage, to the paper recycling and to the thrift store box, only to find that they’ve repurposed everything into new piles. A single blue bead wiped of dust sits on Rose’s desk like the crown jewel. And I realize, nothing is ever lost, just recirculated.

We find the audiotape: “Best of Blondie”, which I bought with my own money in fourth grade. Rose begs me to put it into the boombox that once belonged to my grandmother, all of which seems like a bad joke about musical non-adaptors. Rose puts on her pink leotard and shimmies to “The Tide is High”.

“Mama, please don’t sing the music,” she asks, then switches into her bathing suit for the 1980’s hit “Call Me”. Perfect. Call me at the kiddie pool. I’ll leave my cellphone by the frog slide.

I finally find my notebook in my backpack, which is like like losing your toothpaste on your bathroom counter. I smite my forehead: How can I be so disorganized? But was it the disorganization that led to such a thorough cleaning under the bed?

Who knows? I’m so happy about finding my notebook that I turn up Blondie and dance with Rose. “You don’t stop, till you punk rock.”

Reach Rachel Turiel at sanjuandrive@frontier.net.Visit her blog, 6512 and growing, on raising children, chickens and other messy, rewarding endeavors at 6,512 feet.