Boy, was I wrong about this.
I should have known that “socks” sounds a lot like “watch.”

When Ella was leaking, to me, information about my Father’s Day gift she either pronounced “socks” correctly after mispronouncing it as something that sounds like “watch,” or my hearing, which is at times questionable (Trish will verify), played into the hands of my selfish wanting.
I have a watch. But I used to have two watches — one for work and one that takes abuse on weekends. The weekend watch used to sit on a shelf in my closet, until about six weeks ago. Then it disappeared into the toddler vortex, like so many other items around the house that are there one minute, gone the next because Purple Baby wanted to play with it, or it looked like something Duke would want to eat, or it’s stowed away in any of the myriad shopping bags Ella plays with.

The same thing happened to a silver spoon and fork the step-mother gave to Ella, which had been in her family for a generation or two. One day they’re in the drawer, the next day the spoon is gone. A few days later, the fork came up missing. Where did they go? How did they escape? What purpose did they serve other than their intended use? Like socks that go into the washing machine … and don’t come out.

I’m sure the watch isn’t “gone.” She didn’t take it to school and leave it in her locker. She didn’t let another kid borrow it. Unless she threw it in the garbage, which, now that I think about it, is a distinct possibility, the watch is somewhere in the house, or the yard. Somewhere. …

Maybe an Albanian slipped it from my wrist. It was a$30 Timex.

So, I was hoping for a watch. It was a pretty pathetic scene. Ella presented me with a gift bag Sunday morning. I pulled out a tie, a very stiff, art-class paper tie with purple yarn looping around the very neat knot, painted in very pretty tones of brown and purple. Very cool! I’m very proud of it. Then there was a balsa wood glider, to remind me, I suppose, I’m still a kid. I liked that. And, finally, socks. Brown Smart Wool socks. Awesome socks. I was excited. I like socks. I use them almost every day.

But, no watch. That was the bottom of the bag.

I concealed my disappointment.

Socks.

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