When the dust had settled from yesterday’s traumatic train adventure (actually S. had put it all behind him by the time he hit the bathtub at his Grandma’s house. I, on the other hand, am still recovering) and once clothes were washed and boots were scrubbed, I realized that we had not made it off the train without leaving some things behind.
While still on the train, I had put all of the still clean contents of my son’s back-pack into a garbage bag, while putting the things that would need to be washed into another. Somehow my son’s thumb drive and mp3 player did not make the transfer (or perhaps we lost them when the bag fell apart, clattering his belongings all over the floor of the train station. I can’t be sure).
The loss was not noticed until much later. As I write this, we are still hoping to hear from Via Rail that at least the mp3 player has been found. I, am, however, not holding my breath.
At least these lost things are replaceable.
When my son was very young, he had a small stuffed dog. Little Dog (at that stage in his life, he named his toys very prosaically) went everywhere with him. Small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, we lived in fear of losing this toy to which my son was very deeply attached.
Little Dog was lost and then recovered several times. We found him once in a tree outside my son’s day care, another time in the middle of an intersection in front of the airport. Then, one day he was lost for good, having perhaps fallen out of a car on a day full of errands.
Six years later, my son still cannot bear to talk about it.
I understand this. More than once, I have put dolls and stuffed animals on buses so that they could make their way home to children who have left them behind. And once, on vacation, my own parents sent a taxi back to a hotel to recover my beloved stuffed kangaroo (more than thirty years later, ratty old Skippy still resides in my bedroom closet).
But an mp3 player, I console myself, can be replaced.
And some day, I am sure I’ll be ready to take the train with my son again.