The case of the missing dart solved
Damara Hutchins | Highlands TodayMany people have new toys and gadgets after the holidays. Over the years, our family has had our share of broken devices with the damage occurring anywhere from minutes to days after the initial unwrapping.
Published: February 7, 2012
Published: February 7, 2012
It's bad to break your own present and worse to have your gift broken by someone else. I still remember the boy in my second grade class who snapped the tail off my Breyer model horse one show-and-tell Friday at Creel Elementary. Dante, if you're reading this, I haven't forgotten.
The absolute worst feeling is damaging the gift of a person you love who lives in your house, like my husband, Chris.
One of his Christmas gifts was a dart set with real metal tips instead of plastic. He set it up in the carport and has been playing with our son almost nightly.
There is a logistical problem with the placement of the board, in that our carport has a concrete wall about 4 feet high with lattice filling in the remaining gap to the roof. This creates the potential for mishaps if you have bad aim and miss the board, which leads to a break in the game to search for wayward darts that flew somewhere in the grassy area between our carport and the side of our neighbor's house.
My 11-year-old son had been playing one afternoon when he came in looking worried. He announced that he couldn't find one of the darts. I blew him off and told him to put more effort into his search.
Several minutes later, I glanced outside and saw the frustration written all over his face. The clock said it was 5:30 pm. Chris would be home after 7, but daylight was fading so I decided to help.
One would think a dart would be fairly easy to find in grass, but this was not the case. We took off our shoes figuring that our feet would immediately alert us to the discovery of the dart. We tore through two nearby bushes and cautiously peeked around in our neighbor's flower bed.
We even went back into the carport and began moving around what little there was to move.
I can't tell you how many times we searched the same area, but eventually, we threw in the towel. I broke the news that he was going to have to tell Daddy that he lost a dart and find a way to make it up to him.
He looked at me and said, "I have some money, Mom. I'll just pay him 20 dollars. That'll be enough to buy him a new dart and make him be not too upset."
I couldn't believe my ears. My son was actually going to pay off his dad! I knew this kid may have a future in politics, but I didn't know he'd start so early.
When Chris got home, he was disappointed, but I assured him that we had done everything we could short of buying a metal detector.
Chris grabbed a flashlight, went outside, and I swear within five minutes, found the dart! It was deep in the neighbor's flower bed after all. I guess my son and I were too skittish in our own plundering of their property.
I'd like to say a lesson was learned, but my son takes after me and I can be pretty thick-headed when it comes to learning lessons. In the meantime, I hope he might ease up a bit on the force of his throwing power. I hope.