I know I haven’t published much over the last several months and there’s no one to blame but myself. That said, I didn’t stop writing. I just didn’t publish anything. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll finally get around to posting some of the musings I’ve had over the last year and will hopefully begin posting on a regular basis. Enjoy!
It is amazing how much your world turns upside down when your child begins to understand how to use their limbs. And not just flail them about like a baby does when they are 3 months old. I’m talking about some real motor control where you know they know what they are doing when you get smacked with a left cross or you take a full on kick to the balls.
Yes, this happened to me.
With blood loss.
I think I almost lost an eye once. I know for sure my contact definitely popped out. Mateo is lucky to be alive, let’s just leave it at that.
With this motor control comes the ability to walk. He’s been walking for a couple months now much to the chagrin of Stephanie. She will openly admit she didn’t want Mateo to walk till he was at least 2-years-old. She’ll kill me for saying this but she is totally guilty of knocking him over when he was learning to stand.
No joke, she would “gently” push him down to the floor. He would laugh and think it was funny, then get right back up for another push. Unfortunately this did not stop his desire to walk and he began to penguin walk all over. I was excited because he was going to really get to wear his bright blue Nikes we purchased in El Paso for the sale price of $10.
A couple weeks ago, the family all went out to Sunday mid-afternoon old-person dinner. It was Mother’s Day so it was a special occasion and we went to the late dinner at 5:30 instead of 4:00. God forbid we eat dinner at a later, more normal hour, but I digress.
At dinner, everyone took turns taking care of Mateo at dinner because anyone who has taken care of a 1-year-old knows how short the attention span is. There was a little bit of eating food, some banging of the spoon on the table and laughing because the noise was so loud, crying, yelling, and then laughter when he was finally taken out of the high chair. There was even more joy when he found these amazing little surprises under the table. With a huge smile, he showed us the gum he picked off. Thank goodness he didn’t want to eat it, just throw it. My mother-in-law would have freaked out. I would have just laughed and said, “Eh, at least he’ll have some good breath now.”
When we got back to the house later, everyone came over for some cake and as part of our normal routine, Mateo was changed in to his Star Wars pajamas and he ran a round a little more until it was 7:30 and went to bed. Clothes were put away, his room picked up a bit and his newly emptied milk bottle was washed and prepped for the next morning. All was calm in the Avila home.
It wasn’t until two days later I began to wonder where his shoes were. Every morning we go through this routine where as we get ready to leave, I wander around looking for his shoes for approximately 10 seconds, before I yell to Stephanie, “Damn it, where are the shoes again?” She walks out, eyebrow up and points out the location, which is very obvious to anyone who really pays attention and looks. He goes to his grandmother or aunt’s house where they immediately take them off and he wanders around in socks or barefoot. In the afternoon, I have to ask if his shoes are in his bag because I know he hasn’t worn them and sometimes the shoes stay at their house. Sometimes they are actually in his bag. It’s a 50/50 shot as to the location of his shoes most of the time.
This time was a little different.
After two days, I really began to wonder what happened to the shoes. Monday night I spent a bout 30 min looking for them before I ended the search thinking they were at my mother-in-law’s house. On Tuesday, I asked Stephanie if she had seen them. She hadn’t and when we asked her mom and aunt, they hadn’t seen them as well.
Panic began to set in.
Instead of rationally thinking about their last known whereabouts, Sunday night at dinner, I freaked out. The rambling in my head slowly began to get louder.
“Where are they now?”
“What the hell could have happened to these shoes?”
“Seriously, who throws a shoe? Away.”
More importantly, would I have to pay for another pair of shoes? Damn it, they are expensive and I got these on sale! If anyone wants to make money, the industry to be in is baby and toddler clothing. It’s ridiculous how much stuff costs.
“What. Happened. To. Those. Shoes. We have to look for them,” I said.
“I can’t believe we lost a pair of shoes,” Stephanie finally said. Our search went on for at least a week and extended to all of our trashcans, bags, nooks and crannies and everything in between. We even went over to my in-law’s house to look. We were crawling around everywhere to see where Mateo may have moved the shoes. Imagine, five to six adults all on their knees crawling around looking for a pair of shoes. I only wish I could have had a time-lapse camera going to record it.
We finally gave up after a week and a half. We had used a pair of smaller shoes to get him around and you could tell it was painful for him. Forty-five dollars later (because there was no sale going on at any store we went to that weekend), Mateo had a new pair of shoes with some room to grow.
Unfortunately, we never found the shoes. After the “lost shoe” incident of 2016, everyone made it a point to make sure we always knew where Mateo’s shoes were. Stephanie’s aunt began placing them on a high bookshelf and her mother always had them next to his bag if he wasn’t wearing them. During the summer it didn’t matter as much because running around barefoot was acceptable and we had a couple pairs of sandals.
We always knew where his shoes were.
One day in late October, I went to pick Mateo up and as I walked through my in-law’s house, I felt compelled to look at something on one of their bookshelves. I can’t remember what it was exactly but I remember seeing the bright blue of what might have been a shoe in the corner of my eye. I began to turn my head when Mateo ran and slammed into my legs. I didn’t get a full glance but I could swear they were his missing Nike shoes.
Later that evening I told Stephanie about what I saw and her jaw dropped.
“You did not see them!” she extorted. “My mom said she looked everywhere. We looked everywhere.”
“Uh, yeah. I think they were totally the shoes. I think she pulled a cruel trick to see what lengths we would go to find those damn shoes! It’s a conspiracy I tell you!”
“I’ll have to check it out tomorrow when I go by,” Stephanie said as she tried to appease me. She never did but neither did I. I guess I’ll never know what happen to those shoes.