I thought I might be writing an obituary for Mia this week. She has disappeared so many times, only to be recovered in the bottom of the stroller, tangled up in the blankets, or just pointedly gone—like the time she flew off the top of the car and we spent 45 minutes combing the edge of the high way and never found her. For three dollars she was resurrected in a bin of dolls at our local pharmacy, the last doll of her kind. She was wearing a different dress than the original Mia, but Morgan quickly remedied that by taking the doll’s clothes off.
Several months after Mia was lost on the edge of the highway, Morgan and I were returning from a trip to the lower 48 when the new Mia must have decided that airplane travel was so fun, she’d just hide under the seat. Morgan took the “Mia’s on a big adventure” explanation pretty well. Her friend Gully had the same doll however, and whenever she went to his house she quickly began asking for Mia’s whereabouts. After some careful consideration, Gully decided to give Morgan custody of Mia. What a friend.
These days, Morgan zips Mia into her jacket or snowsuit before heading out the door. This makes me nervous, as I know this is truly the last Mia. I came home from the grocery store this week just as Morgan and her Dad were returning from a short snow machine ride. When I got out of the car Morgan unzipped her jacket to show me Mia. Hmm. Not in the jacket. So she unzipped her snowsuit and looked inside. No Mia!
We called our neighbors. She wasn't there. Her Dad got on the snow machine and went back over the trail. It was getting dark. No Mia. Morgan had a fitful night sleeping. The next day before lunch we walked the trail calling for Mia and looking under the spruce trees. Morgan was taking the loss pretty well, after all, these dramatic Mia disappearances have become pretty common. As Morgan napped I sat on the front porch thinking how difficult it would be for Mia to slip out of Morgan’s snow suit. Mia had to be in the work truck, her Dad must have set Morgan in the truck, and while he worked on something she must have checked on Mia.
Sure enough there she was, her little toes poking out under the drivers seat. When Morgan woke up it was a casual reunion; Morgan was ultimately confidant in Mia’s homecoming. However, she’s since been keeping a closer watch on that sneaky doll. All the search parties for Mia has me wishing that I could protect Morgan indefinitely from loss—which I know is both futile and stunting. But I cherish these days when dolls go and come like nymphs, and when explanations can be as easy as “it’s magic!” Most of all I cherish Morgan’s trust that her parents won’t let anything bad happen.