I Need To Smudge My Life


Because y’all, this level of dramatics cannot be normal. It was only two weeks ago that I was bent over in a parking lot with my ex-husband scraping poop off my butt.


Let me start at 7:45 this morning, when I ran out to the car to locate my son’s shoes. I noticed with a tiny corner of my brain that my camera – which had, I thought, been sitting in the passenger side footrest area – wasn’t where I’d left it, but I figured maybe it was in the backseat. Or something. I poked around a bit after I dropped off the kids, but even when I still didn’t find it I wasn’t super worried, assuming that I’d brought it back into the house and then forgotten.

So I sat down at my desk, and started in on Task #1 for the day: locating my daughter’s social security number, and then writing it down on the paperwork that I’d brought home from the passport office, so I’d be able to take them alllllll the way back and restart this spectacularly enjoyable process. Except shoot: I left the paperwork in the car last night.

No problem! Let me just go grab it real quick!

…You can probably see where I’m going with this.

First, the fact that I literally did not notice that my car had been ransacked should tell you something about the general state of affairs inside my vehicle. But moving on.

My car had apparently been ransacked at some point the night before. And the items that had been taken from it included, yes, my camera (and all my lenses, and various other expensive personal items that I very much wish were still in my possession), and also all – and I do mean all – of the documentation I’d compiled for the passport-acquisition expedition. Old passports, current passports, certified birth certificates, checkbook, notarized paperwork from Kendrick, all neatly stacked up in a convenient little pile, and now…



The problems associated with this little incident are oh god, so many, but let’s start with number one: Identity Theft. You may recall that I have a bit of experience dealing with this issue, and my PTSD from that era of my life makes me take it even more seriously than the average bear (who presumably takes it fairly seriously to begin with). So step one, before doing anything else, was to lock it down, as it were. Here’s what I did:

  • Signed up for Lifelock identity theft protection (for both myself and the kids);
  • Submitted Lost Passport forms online for myself and my son (my daughter has never been issued one);
  • Filed a police report (both to initiate a claim on my lost property, and to ensure that there’s a paper trail should anyone try to use our documents for nefarious purposes);
  • Filed a property theft claim with my insurance company (because do I have renter’s insurance? And does it cover my property even when said property is not physically located in my house? I DO, and IT DOES. #adulting #bam)

Next problem: Passport-Getting. Because just over two weeks from now, I am (theoretically) leaving the country with them for Spring Break. And as hard as it is to get passports for your children when you have already gotten it together to compile all of the required documentation, it is oh, so much harder when you no longer have any of that documentation, because it has been stolen out of your car.

So I have spent the past seven hours Working The Problem (which is, to be clear, distinct from actual “Working To Make Money For, You Know, Rent and Groceries”). Calling Vital Records bureaus to try to get new certified birth certificates (not happening), calling passport agencies to see if copies of birth certificate are acceptable (maybe, but only in some cases, and no, I have not been able to get an answer better than this FROM ANYONE), calling expediting agencies, calling travel insurance companies, and so on and so forth and did I mention I have a headache the size of a Volkswagen sitting behind my right eye?

In summary, here is what I am going to do: Maybe get my children passports in time. And maybe not. And if the answer is “no international travel for you,” that will be what it is, and I will make some magic trick happen that results in the kids having a fun spring break anyway.

Because magic tricks are what moms specialize in. Or so I hear.

In conclusion, I will leave you with this very accurate text message from Olivia.

Holy fuck, indeed. Life-smudging to commence STAT.

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