Isn't it funny how a child will say something that strikes your funnybone; then you retell it a dozen times, and it eventually becomes a family joke? Or is it only my family?
Here's an example: When my grandson, Arick, was about four years old, he spent several weeks with us. He liked to go barefoot when he was in the house, but he never remembered where he'd taken his shoes off when it was time to put them on and go outside. You might find them behind the couch or under a bed... sometimes you'd find one shoe, but not the other. After a cursory search, he'd always declare that he couldn't find his shoes, and we, of course, were expected to find them for him. At one such point, after telling his grandpa his shoes were nowhere to be found, Cliff said, "Well, what do you suppose happened to them?"
"I think a robber got them," was Arick's quick reply.
So for these past fifteen years, when we can't find something we've misplaced, Cliff and I will say, "That guy who steals Arick's shoes has been here again."
OK, I'm leading up to something here. I'm only limping along with Flylady lately, but Monday is still my "house- blessing" day. Because our closet floor was overflowing with sneakers, I examined mine and threw the two rattiest pairs away. Then I set out all three pairs of Cliff's sneakers and asked him to choose the ones he was least likely to wear, so I could toss them.
"That one pair of shoes isn't mine," he informed me. "Those are yours."
"Now Cliff, I know my feet are big, but they aren't THAT big." And with that, I put my foot beside the shoe to prove my point. Then I placed it beside his shod foot; it was the same size.
"I swear those are not my shoes," he said.
"Well good, that's the pair I'll toss," I said, and headed for the trash can with shoes in hand.
"Wait, maybe I should try them on," he said.
The shoes were a perfect fit. He's sure they aren't his; they even have a full insole someone has put in, and it isn't the kind he buys. He's wearing them right now.
Oh, but that isn't all. As I got ready to sweep at the back door entryway, I saw a pair of brown men's shoes I've never seen before in my life. Yes, we had plenty of company yesterday. But who would take his shoes off and then leave, barefoot?
I took them out to the shop to show Cliff; he was as perplexed as I was.
About a month ago, I recall finally tossing a pair of sneakers because I had tried in vain for weeks to find someone to claim them.
And then it came to me... the answer to this puzzle.
That robber who has been stealing shoes (and other items) ever since Arick was a little boy has experienced a twinge of conscience, and is trying to make things right by bringing replacements for all the ones he's stolen. That has to be it.
I just wish he'd bring us new shoes.