He Wouldn’t Leave It There.

We went to a college football game on Saturday. It’s a small college, and we could tailgate and watch the game, all from the same great locale at the top of a hill.

Dylan and Shane spent the vast majority of the day rolling down the hill and climbing back up, to roll down again.

So Dylan took his phone out of his pocket – his $150 SmartPhone that he bought with his own money. And he plopped it in the grass on the top of the hill.

I saw him do it. I thought, Nah, he wouldn’t leave it there. He’s not that stupid. And then I forgot all about it.

Until around halftime – when Dylan came over and asked if I had his phone.

“Oh no,” I said. “You didn’t leave it on the ground, did you?”

“I left it right next to my chair!” he said.

He didn’t. It was a good three feet from his chair, in the grass. And any one of the dozens of people who walked by could have picked up that phone and walked away.

Then I watched Dylan go into a ritual walk that I’ve seen him do before – the panicked, I-have-to-find-it walk, where he basically just goes around in circles like a dog looking for a place to sleep, hoping against hope that he’ll find whatever he lost.

But it was gone. I was certain that it had been stolen. We were in a small town, at a small college. But coming from the D.C. area and two stolen purses plus a devastating car break-in, I have little faith in humankind.

I asked someone at the tailgate party if there is a “Lost and Found” – on the off chance that it wasn’t stolen.

“What did you lose?” he asked.

“Someone stole my kid’s phone,” I blurted.

“Well there’s security right there,” he said. He pointed to a security officer eating a hot sausage sandwich, at our very own tailgate party.

I interrupted the sandwich to tell him of my son’s woes.

“I think we have a phone,” he said. “What color is it?”

“Orange,” I said.

“Yep,” he said. “Let me call it in.” And sure enough, within ten minutes, two security officers delivered Dylan’s phone to him at the top of the hill.

Later, I learned that both my mom and Shane had been praying for the phone’s safe return.

I had almost wanted the phone to stay lost, to teach Dylan a lesson. It never occurred to me to pray. Still, I was tremendously relieved at the miracle of the phone’s return – and a little bit of my faith in humankind may have been restored.

Now I just hope that Dylan learned his lesson during that tense half-hour where he walked aimlessly, looking for something that was likely never to return.


  1. Kirsten says:

    Oh that’s funny! I mean, not for your loss – but I totally know how that could happen. We drove away with Dylan’s water bottle on top of the car a couple of weeks ago, and heard a big ‘clunk!’ but never found it, either. So I guess you’re right – no lessons learned!

  2. Glenn says:

    It’s just a boy thing. My son Tony left his ipod on the back bumper of my car while he was playing. He forgot about it, and when I drove the car, it flew off somewhere. Never found it, not sure if he actually leaned a lesson.

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