Dear Kid,

Did you hear about my phone?

I’m sure you heard part of the story, but here is the un-abbreviated version.

Friday evening, I hightailed it out of work. And by “hightailed it” I mean left on time and made a pit stop in the ladies room.

Friday night we (and by “we” I mean the Sycamore Aviators) played football in Hamilton which is not next door. Since dad was away, I had to zip home, walk and feed the puppy, explain to him that I was leaving, explain again that I would be home later, change into football appropriate clothes, and leave.

That was where I made my second mistake.

It had been soooo warm in the office and on the drive home that I decided (without consulting that a little shirt, my inherited lacrosse jacket, a scarf, and gloves would be perfect for the evening. Unfortunately, I had not factored in the 90 mile an hour winds which made for a much chillier evening than I’d expected.

As I was driving up to Hamilton (using Option B directions as I-75 was backed up to Florida), I glanced over at my purse (which was riding quite comfortably on the front passenger seat. One little brain cell perked up and said, “Your Phone Isn’t There.” Then it promptly died, having lived a full and useful life. But its message somehow traveled to a couple of other brain cells, and I reached over to prove them wrong. Then I groped through my purse to prove them wrong. Then I dialed dad using the car interface to prove them wrong. The car coughed and tried to explain that my phone was nowhere in the vicinity and perhaps I should try again when I located it.

I taught the car a few new words (not all of which were four letters long) and finished driving up to the game. Once I’d parked (see how safe I was?), I dragged over my purse and went through it. Twice. If you will imagine the contents of my purse, you will realize this was No Easy Task to undertake even once.

Finally admitting that I’d left my phone at home, I decided to enjoy the game unencumbered by providing you with timely updates.

I did enjoy the game, especially the kick off that went through the uprights (did I mention the 453 mile an hour winds?), and the highly imaginative officiating which fortunately didn’t change the outcome of the game but did give several coaches and parents the opportunity to turn purple with indignation. (And by “purple with indignation” I mean I thought some of them were going to bust a spleen or some other vital organ as they ranted and raged at the official who made most of the creative mistakes.)

Decided to go home and get my phone before picking up Pi at the High School. And this is where it gets weird.

Neither Tal nor Booker knew where my phone was, so I decided to use the house phone to hear the ring and locate it. I call—and Pi answers.

Me: Pi?
Pi: Maybe
Me: What? (phone clicks as Dad tries to call in)
Me: Wait a minute
Pi: Ok.
I fumble with the phone, decide I can’t figure out how to talk to Dad, and go back to Pi.
Me: Wait, who am I talking to?
Pi: This is Rachel and I found your phone in the office building
Me (brilliantly): Wait, what?

The conversation goes on like this for another minute or two.

Finally, I realize that a lovely woman named Rachel (a confusing coincidence) found my phone and rescued it not knowing what Evil Forces might abscond with it. And then she was kind enough to try to find me! And to answer the phone when I called.

I’m pretty sure she called you (what with not having heard from you all weekend, I cannot be positive), she texted with Dad, she posted on Facebook—basically, she did everything except buy a billboard. (I wonder why she didn’t buy a billboard…)

Once I had this all figured out, we agreed to meet Saturday morning so she could give me my phone.

Yes, I said thank you (more than once). Yes, I am bringing her brownies. No, there are none left for me to mail to you. And YES, I believe in the kindness of strangers.

Pay it forward. Do something nice for a stranger today.

Love, Mom