Wednesday, October 31, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Thirty-Eight

I had a very exciting meeting today about a project for next year here in Berlin. This meeting has been on the books for a few weeks and I was hoping to share more about it since it is my official Birth-Day activity for today—but I can’t. There are just too many details that need to be sorted before I can spill the beans, and before I can truly call it officially in the works. I’m looking forward to telling you more about it in the coming months.

Something unexpected happened today, before my exciting secret meeting. Lennon has a small plush fox that he carries with him nearly everywhere. Fox is an inexpensive toy that we bought at IKEA in the late spring. Lennon became attached to fox for a couple of reasons. When we travelled to the U.S. this past summer, we took a collection of toys with us that were small enough to be portable and inexpensive enough to not make us sad should they get damaged or lost in travel. His little fox was included. At the time of our vacation, Lennon wasn’t particularly attached to any one toy so we could make these kinds of decisions, but having spent a month with these toys only, they became mainstays. Additionally, Lennon loves toys with tails or dangly parts that he can hold in his hand and flip around. This is a habit we discovered on vacation, perhaps because fox was there with his perfect, toddler hand-sized tail.

When he started Kita this fall, we thought fox would be a perfect companion as they asked we bring our child’s favorite “Kuscheltier” with him every day. Though Lennon doesn’t get upset when fox is not around and is happy to play with other toys or even swing other plush animals by the tail, fox had been a consistent companion throughout the summer and, again, wouldn’t be such a financial loss should something happen to him.

As we came from Kita today, I handed Lennon fox whom he grabbed tightly by the tail. On the way home, I always glance down to make sure fox is still with him in the stroller. Luckily, he always is. We stopped into a few stores before heading home. As I was lifting Lennon out of the stroller, I noticed fox was missing. I checked everywhere on my person and in our bags but fox had been…dropped. I really couldn’t remember the last time I glanced down to make sure fox was there. Was it before we got on the train? After the store? Fox could be anywhere. Fox was lost. I did the first thing I always do in any crisis: call my husband. We both decided that it probably wasn’t advantageous for us to retrace all of our steps, having no idea where he could be. Luckily, IKEA still sold the exact same fox and Nicholas would make a run tonight to get another one.

We’d always said that if fox got lost, we’d move on and not replace him. Our adaptable Lennon would find another toy to be his companion. Actually faced with the real life scenario, however, we needed a new fox. He’d become such a celebrity amongst our friends and at Kita: Lennon and his fox. As I waited for Nicholas to come home, I became sad about losing that particular fox. Yes, he could be replaced, but I imagined mending fox when he ripped a seam and letting him take on that wonderful child-loved patina. That fox had been washed so many times its fur was a little matted and dingy. The new fox would be all different and that made me melancholy.

Nicholas walked through the door and asked if I’d received his message. He was on his way home and wanted to know what side of the street we’d walked on, just in case he’d happen to spot fox. Disappointed that I’d not gotten his message, I apologized. Just then, out of his pocket he pulled fox---the original, lost-now-found fox! Nicholas had seen fox on one of the outside tables at Rogaki, just down the street. Some kind soul likely found him on the street and placed him there, clearly seeing how beloved he was. Happy day! Lennon saw fox sitting on his Tripp Trapp chair where Nicholas had placed him, smiled, and went to him. Then fox made a straight line for the washing machine. He’d be clean and dry in time for Kita in the morning.