The Case of the Missing Racquet: A Conversation with My Daughter

RacquetI pull into the driveway from work with my windows down only to hear the cries of my daughter’s frantic, desperate words as she meets me at the car.

“I can’t find my racquet.”

Tennis lessons started 10 minutes ago; it is only the second session. I had been stuck in traffic and my daughter had stayed late at school for Yearbook Club. We had talked on the phone, and I had instructed her to be fully ready when I got home to zoom off to tennis. Lateness is a pet peeve of mine, and I’m striving to get my kids to their activities on time, or even to be early occasionally. This is clearly not going to be one of those days.

“What did you say?” I ask, trying to leave behind the grind of 695 and hoping that my ears are playing tricks on me.

“I can’t find my racquet.”

Ugh. That racquet cost us a lot of money. Please, nobody tell my husband.

“What do you mean you can’t find your racquet?” I shout, turning down the pleasant sounds of Michael Buble to the unpleasant sounds of desperation.

“I can’t find it.”

My son comes out of the garage with another, older racquet, with a crummy grip in his hand. “Here, use this one,” he says. It looks like something you’d pick out of a dumpster. I would give her mine to use, but I’m lacking confidence that it will return home safely.

For the rest of the evening post-lost-racquet discussion, we look for it. We search the tennis club, call the eye doctor’s office where we had been after last week’s session, and search the garage. The racquet is nowhere to be found.

How exactly does one lose a racquet? It’s not like losing an earring or a contact; racquets are generally larger pieces of property that take vigilance to lose. In all my days playing tennis during my pre-teen and teenage years, I do not believe I ever lost a racquet. (Mom, if you’re reading this, please confirm that in your possession you still have my Chrissy Evert wooden racquet; I’m pretty sure you do because Dad showed it to me recently. It’s museum worthy.)

Nevertheless, the racquet has not been found, and she has been punished.

So, if anyone comes across a pink Wilson-sized-for-an-11-year-old racquet, please let me know.

This case has not been closed.


  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Can you add my son Marshall’s retainers to your search? They have gone missing as well. I think Les accidentally tossed them in the trash but we don’t want to think of that yet since the replacement cost for 2 retainers will be $500!

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