Little L didn’t say anything or even seem to notice. A “nanana” or “ohhhhh” would have been helpful in this situation, but she was busy looking for dogs or trees or airplanes.
It looked like her jean jacket laying on the corner, wet from the overnight rain.
And then I remembered that her grandparents had taken her to the park the day before. Didn’t I see this same jacket in some of the photos of her swinging?
“Is this yours, Little L?”
She was too busy sucking the buckle of her stroller to even glance in my direction.
Have you ever seen one shoe or a book of brain teasers sitting on the sidewalk, where some kind (or lazy) person has put it, hoping its rightful owner will return to claim it?
What vindication for the person who had put the jacket here! I hoped they would come back later and find that it had been found.
I picked the jacket up with my thumb and forefinger – also known as a pincer grasp for those of you who spend time analyzing the fine motor skills of young children – and carried it home, where I placed it directly in the washing machine.
Later I checked her closet and, sure enough, there was no jean jacket.
I think of all the time Axel spends looking for his keys and wallet and wedding ring. It’s so stressful to know you’ve lost something.
But to find something without experiencing the period of having lost? What a windfall! Or a jacketfall in this case.
Meanwhile, Little L was unfazed. Sure, she laughed when I stretched my calves at the end of the walk, but she does that every time – she probably thinks I’m unsuccessfully trying to push the brick wall of our apartment building over.
The moral of the story is this: it is better to have found and lost than never to have found at all.