At the beginning of the school year I bought Diego two hoodies and a new rain jacket. His public school has a uniform policy so the hoodies complied with the policy and were blue and grey and free of any logos. I thought that three new jackets, coupled with the two that still fit from last year would be enough to get him through the winter months.
I figured he had at least one to use, and one to lose. Diego, however, took this literally. Too literally, because this morning as we made our usual dash out the door I asked Diego where his jacket was. He looked at me blankly. “Well, I left it on the playground and I can’t find it.” I went to his closet, hoping to find at least one of his 4 other jackets. What was I thinking? Good thing we live in Southern California and we aren’t experiencing frigid temperatures like the rest of the country. Diego made do with his long-sleeved uniform shirt.
I rushed him into the classroom just as the tardy bell rang, and rummaged through the classroom closet, hoping to recover a lost hoodie. No luck. I walked outside to the deserted playground hoping to spy a lone hoodie hanging from the money bars or abandoned on the empty field. Nope. This meant only one thing. I headed towards the school cafeteria, wishing I brought my rubber gloves and shower cap. I knew just where I needed to look, the Lost and Found Box. When I saw the box, I gasped.
There was not just one box..
There were TWO.
Two big boxes overflowing with blue, and grey jackets and an occasional non-regulation, illegal logo laden jacket. I got squeamish at just the thought of having to pick through those boxes to find Diego’s missing jackets. I thought maybe it would be easier to go buy some new ones, but my
cheap thrifty side would not allow it. I tried to keep my breakfast down as I picked through the box. Almost immediately I spied last year’s hoodie. It was easy to find because, in desperation, I allowed Diego to wear it to school even though it was both white and had a logo. Next, I began my Where’s Waldo quest trying to find the navy blue and grey hoodie. As I dug towards the bottom of the box, I tried to keep my thoughts from racing about all the germs I was being exposed to. Then, I spied it! I found the grey hoodie! I could tell it was Diego’s because his name that I had written on it had not completely faded. Two down, two to go and one more box of bacteria laden, germ infested jackets.
I kept thinking about all those jackets carrying who knows what kind of mites or possibly, (gasp) lice. As I plowed through the second Lost and Found box I came across–could it be? His rain jacket? Similar style. Same color. No name. Wrong size. The rain jacket was probably lost forever, gone into the vast universe of unmated socks and missing clothing.
I took another breath and dove back into the box, this time emerging with a blue hoodie in Diego’s size 7! There was no name on it but I took it anyway. I don’t remember if I had the foresight to put his name on this jacket, or if the writing had faded enough preventing me from seeing it. I figured this was karma. Maybe, in the cosmic universe of Lost Clothing and Un-mated Socks, this was a way of rewarding me for braving the dark, germ infested depths of the Lost and Found Box.