My friend Linette sent me this article, and I must say it hit close to home. Soccer balls are not the problem for our family, as for the children of the article’s author. Our losses – or at least the close calls we continue to have – are of PRECIOUS posessions. Namely, Blue Bobby and Puppy.
Fletcher’s attachment to Puppy has waned a bit, which is good. But there was a time when Puppy went EVERYWHERE with us. Do you remember all the photos of Fletcher with Puppy tucked into his shirt collar or, if he wasn’t wearing a shirt, Puppy’s head emerging from the the waistband of Fletcher’s shorts or swim trunks? The first time Puppy got “lost” was on Raymond’s watch. And the second time, too. And I was FURIOUS. My son was heartbroken, the puppy was not replaceable, and it was Raymond’s fault. I was in the middle of a full blown tirade to my friends one day about how my husband could be so irresponsible as to allow the stinkin’ pink stuffed dog to go missing, when Lindsay broke in to say that, really, it should be Fletcher’s responsibility to take care of his own things and we might as well start the process now or he would never learn to do it himself. She said this from experience, and she was right, but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. (Aren’t friends supposed to be supportive during husband bashing? Even if the husband doesn’t exactly deserve to be bashed?)
But I did hear her. And I have honestly TRIED to take the approach that the children are responsible for their own things, that if they misplace something they have to find it themselves, it is easier said than done. Note last Thursday night when, after running errands, a trip to the grocery, and picking up our coop box at church, Blue Bobby could not be found. We looked everywhere. I even sent a frantic email to the entire coop asking if anyone had seen the blanket (or Lola Gray with the blanket) at pickup so I would at least be able to get a time line for when we lost the thing. Lola Gray cried herself to sleep. I stayed awake much of the night feeling like a horrible parent for losing the blanket. The fact that Bobby turned up the next day is wonderful, but beside the point. The point, I guess, is that children lose things. Even things that are really really important to them. It will be a process for all of us to overcome that, but we are working on it.