Lily Marek

By Mike Marek


I lost my wallet … and it was almost a total disaster.

Let me set the scene. My wife and I had made the impromptu decision to send myself and my 2-year-old daughter, Lily, to a Minnesota Twins game. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we agreed that it would be good to get Lily out of the house for a bit. I picked up a couple of great tickets from StubHub and we were off.

When Lily goes to Twins games with me, her favorite things to do are cheering when things go well on the field (especially when it involves her favorite player, Gio Urshela), dancing to the music between innings, and consuming the ballpark fare, ranging from hot dogs to hamburgers to ice cream.

On this gameday we had just settled into our seats, and Lily decided that she needed refreshment, so off to the concession stand we went. After picking out the cheeseburger basket and a beverage, we raced back to our seats and took in the rest of the game. The Twins won!

After the fireworks were launched to celebrate the victory, I started packing up Lily’s Twins backpack. While doing so, my stomach dropped into my shoes. I did the quick wallet, keys, phone check, and my wallet was missing from the equation. My first reaction was to check below the seats and the surrounding area, which I did profusely. I dug through the backpack at least three times to make sure it wasn’t wedged into some non-existent corner of the bag. Upon settling in on the fact that my wallet wasn’t going to magically appear in a place I had already checked several times I relented and heading back to the last place I had seen it, the concession stand. After conferring with the same employee that had sold us the fateful hamburger and soda, she kindly informed us that she hadn’t seen a wallet, and no one had turned one in. The story was the same from the security guards and ushers. It seemed that the worst possible scenario was in place. I was in downtown Minneapolis with a two-year-old without the means to pay for our exit from the parking ramp. My mind raced over how to manage this crisis without putting up the flag of salute and calling my wife to bail us out (she was 45 minutes away). While I was catastrophizing over what the consequences were, it only took a few words from Lily to bring me back on track.

Lily looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes, and soundly said, “It will be OK, Daddy, we will find it.” Somehow in the hustle and bustle of this mini crisis it was the two-year-old with me that had remembered to stay positive. With new resolve, I decided to head up with the usher to our seats for one last look before heading over to lost and found. We pored over the entire area again, and I was just about to give up, when Lily told me to look one last time, and sure enough, wedged between the side of the seat was my wallet. We were saved, no rescue needed.

The lesson, stay positive. While I was running through the worst-case scenarios, it took Lily’s unbridled two-year-old positivity to keep us on track. We ended up finding what we were looking for and getting back home safely.