My Son’s Secret Universe, or Something

My 3-year-old son has a superpower.

There is undoubtedly some secret nook or cranny or crevice or closet or room or universe in our home. Only Holden knows the location. Only he can find and access it.

Photo Credit: Alain r / Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5) I imagine it looks something like this, black hole and all.

Photo Credit: Alain r / Wikipedia
(CC BY-SA 2.5)
I imagine it looks something like this, black hole and all.

We went to see his father Thursday night. The ride is about an hour-and-a-half, and Nate’s sister was kind enough to offer us a ride. Since I’m a huge procrastinator, I was still in the shower when she arrived to pick us up, which left Jack with the task of getting Holden ready to go.

He dressed Holden in an adorable “I Get My Good Looks From Dad” t-shirt, plaid shorts, mismatched socks, and his glow-in-the-dark skeleton slip-on shoes. Then Holden took off across the house, and when he returned to Jack in the living room only a few moments later, the shoes were no longer on his feet.


Jack glanced around a bit, couldn’t find them, assumed they would show up, and continued getting everything else together. When I got out of the shower he informed me that Holden was ready except for his shoes, which were around somewhere.

Only they weren’t. They still aren’t.

Nate’s sister was already half-an-hour later than we had originally planned, and I didn’t finish my shower until about 15 minutes after she arrived. I, procrastinator that I am, hadn’t yet found suitable clothing to wear (Nate is in a place that adheres to a strict dress code, so not only do I have to find one proper outfit but at least three backups as well because one of the 5 dress-code-inspectors might be displeased with my appearance), so I was frantically sorting through clothes that were either clean but too small or fitting and dirty trying to decide which would be the best bet (because that’s all I have at the moment, because I haven’t gone shopping or done laundry in ages, because procrastinator).

As I was trying on my third shirt choice, I realized Nate’s sister may have been uncomfortable standing around a house in which she had never been before, with Jack, who she doesn’t know all that well, and her toddler nephew she hasn’t seen in over a year (maybe longer). So I asked Jack to switch the car seat into her car and Holden to finish getting ready so they could all get outside, because in my experience people tend to be more comfortable outside. Maybe it’s the openness. Better chance of escape and all.

So long, dear friends.

So long, dear friends.

This is when we realized Holden’s shoes were not “around somewhere.” They were not in plain sight. They were not in Holden’s toyboxes. They were not under his bed or stuffed in one of his toys. They were not in the fridge or trash or oven. They were not in the basement, or in the washer or dryer.

All three of us (four if you count Holden opening random doors and saying “Are they in there? Nope!” without even looking) searched every inch of the house. The shoes were gone.

Finally, after wasting enough time and deciding on an outfit (and throwing I-don’t-even-know-what into a bag as my backup clothes) I put Holden in a different pair of too-big shoes, and we went on our way. I’m not sure if Jack continued the hunt once we left, but I know I did once I got home later that night.

I got down on my hands and knees and crawled everywhere I could fit. I overturned things that were obviously too small to hide a shoe. I looked in bigger shoes. I checked drawers even I had a hard time opening.

I’m telling you, those shoes are gone. They just vanished.

And I know that one day in the future, they will suddenly appear. Holden will sneak into his alternate universe when no one is looking, retrieve the shoes, and place them in the middle of the floor like they were never gone.

Photo Credit: Dani Lurie / Flickr (CC BY 2.0) I guess it's time to finally clean behind the bookshelves.

Photo Credit: Dani Lurie / Flickr
(CC BY 2.0)
I guess it’s time to finally clean behind the bookshelves.

I know this because he did the same thing not too long ago with a pair of Jack’s flip-flops. And before that with a toy train. And before that, one of his favorite shirts.

I can only hope this universe of lost items isn’t too dangerous and he decides to visit it soon, because those are the best shoes we have at the moment. And I’m not sure where my favorite spoon is.

(I also have a slight suspicion that Holden has been slowly sneaking parts of my mind and sanity to keep his other things company.)

But of course, I’ll keep searching every place I’ve already searched, just in case. Maybe I’ll check for cracks along the wall, levers, or other signs of a hidden door as well.


Are the shoes ever found?


Facebook: Nonsense & Shenanigans / Twitter: @nonsenanigans

15 thoughts on “My Son’s Secret Universe, or Something

  1. Very interesting concept. I think I’d better start thinking about the “secret nook or cranny or crevice or closet or room or universe” in my own home. There is no doubt my passport will be there. I’ve looked everywhere else countless times. And the number of keys that must be stacked there has to be huge. Thanks so much for solving this frustrating problem for me. Now i need to find out how to get into it myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ironically, I FOUND the shoes yesterday (so they were only gone for two days). But, as the twist on this assignment was to have it be a three-part series, I’m waiting to announce that until next time (or maybe even the third).

      I’m still going to search for cracks and signs that there’s a secret something, somewhere. Because I could have sworn I checked the spot where I found the shoes before I found them, and they weren’t there.

      Or maybe that’s the part of my mind Holden stole, playing with me =]


      • That happens so often to me, i.e. finding something where I have looked over and over.

        I have to have the passport by the beginning of July so I have to find it. I remember thinking the place I’ve been storing it for decades wasn’t safe enough but I don’t remember what “safe” place I put it in. Your theory is the only one I can think of at this point! :)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You may be on to something with your theory that kids steal little bits of sanity from their parents and they keep company with that one missing sock we’re all trying to find. It didn’t fizzle for me either, Tempest. It’s very well written. have you checked out I think you could submit to their challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I guess it’s just not my normal style so I felt weird about it. I hope the other two in the series (whenever they come) will fit.

      I have not — when I was taking Creative Writing in college, we had to occasionally submit to literary magazines. But I never really paid attention to them. I’ll definitely start, though!


  3. whoah this blog is fantastic i like reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You realize, many people are looking around for this information, you could help them greatly.


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