Thank You Notes

The Prodigal Monkey

This year’s winner of the first annual “Antique Mommy’s Spirit of Christmas” award goes to Margie, the owner of the condo in Destin, Florida where this past September, we spent our first family beach vacation.

Each year the AMSOC winner will be selected from a list of worthy nominees who at some point in the year endeavor to pull Antique Mommy’s behind out of the proverbial sling. Extra consideration is given to those who manage to refrain from exlaiming in disbelief “You did WHAT?” and/or calling CPS. This year, it was hard to choose just one from the long list of nominees, but Margie was clearly the hands-down winner.

After ten days at the beach in September, we returned home exhausted and with only one black eye amongst us, so all in all we felt our first family beach vacation was a success — until we started unpacking and trying to get our sleepy boy into bed. “Muhn-ee! Muhn-ee!” Sean demanded rubbing his non-black eye. We looked through all the bags and the car several times before panic set in. Panic quickly turned to nausea when we had to face the grim reality that Mr. Monkey was still on vacation in Florida — or worse, riding around in an airplane alone and unarmed with Clorox Wipes. Gulp! Of all the things to leave behind — what kind of mother would do such a thing? If a license were required to be a mother (and maybe there should be) mine would have been revoked on the spot.

Out of sheer exhaustion, Sean fell asleep with Snoopy, an understudy, and I immediately went on-line to try to track down another Mr. Monkey. After several hours it became apparent Mr. Monkey was on the endangered species list and there were none left anywhere in the galaxy at any price. In a last desperate attempt, I found an email address for Margie, the condo owner, whom I had never met or even spoken with, and I threw myself on her mercy. I asked her if there was anyone there in Florida who would look to see if Mr. Monkey was still there somewhere in the condo. If not, then we could be at peace that Mr. Monkey was never coming home and begin looking for responsible people to raise our child.

Before the light of dawn, Margie (who lives no where near Florida) emailed me back promising to send out a search and rescue team to look for Mr. Monkey. She said that she was a mother too and that when her daughter was little, she had a special stuffed unicorn, and that she understood my predicament. Several days later, the prodigal monkey returned home courtesy of Margie and the US Postal Service. When I opened that little box and saw that raggedy well-loved monkey it brought tears to my eyes. When Sean saw it he clutched it to his chest and in a low manly voice chattered “ooo-ooo-oooh!” like a little machine gun. And then he looked up at me and smiled like I’m the one who orders the sun to shine and not the one who couldn’t keep track of his special friend.

With nothing in it for herself, Margie went to the trouble to make a big difference in our small world. And she did not even once give in to blurting “You did WHAT?” And so Margie, you are the recipient of the first-ever AMSOC award. Congratulations!

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2 thoughts on “The Prodigal Monkey

  1. I had to see what Mr. Monkey was (well, duh, I know – a MONKEY – but I wanted to see a picture. (Glad it was here or I would have felt stupid!) Anyway, it looks a lot like the under $3 fake Beenie Baby Monkey (fondly known as Mombo) that I bought my then 2-year old son in a plea for quiet one day at Garden Ridge. Mombo went EVERYWHERE and was lost MANY TIMES. My son is now in 6th grade, but Mombo still sits on the shelf very near his bed. I don’t know how he’s been through the wash so many times and not lost an eye or tail. Pretty good for under $3!

  2. Reminds me of the time my 15 year old daughter, yes 15 years old, left her large stuffed frog in Berlin, OH during a Thanksgiving trip. I called the hotel two weeks later, (bad mom) and wonderful people they were they mailed it too me, “if I would send them the postage AFTER I got the package” (trust, how nice!) We put it under the tree on Christmas day and she cried…best $5 I ever spent. I love that she still has a favorite stuffed animal.

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