Monday, March 18, 2013

Finders keepers

Sal and I took a walk to buy produce this morning. It was sunny out, and he is recovering from pinkeye(s) so I thought a hat was in order. MY favorite hat of his was a splurge purchase our last night in California. I went to Quiksilver and snapped it up without even checking the price, which is totally uncharacteristic of me. I just had to have it for my boy. Anyways, Sal seems to love this hat too, so he's been rocking it lately. He wore it today, and got smiled and waved at even more than normal, because, you know-who can resist a little guy in a trucker hat?

He scored a banana--the usual-- from the fruit lady, and on our way home, we would stop every block or so for another bite. On one of our last banana bite stops, there was a little boy riding a tricycle in front of his home. His home was the ruins of an old apartment complex. His home had missing walls, windows and trash piles abound. I looked down at my son in his American clothing, eating his free banana in his snazzy stroller and I started to reflect on how much we have, the difference in living conditions even though we live just half a mile away, and how different my son's life is to that of this little boy that I am watching. I felt guilty for living so well.

We continued our walk, and stopped at the corner before crossing the street for a McDonald's chicken nugget treat. I looked down and almost cried. My son's hat was gone. Missing in action. Not on his head. G-o-n-e.

I backtracked my steps, knowing that it was last on while we took pictures of the little boy. I looked under cars, at curbsides, at kids walking by-no where to be found.

THE hat was gone.

We got our lunch, headed towards home, and I couldn't stop thinking about that hat. The loss of this silly material item was really bothering me...and then I felt bad...just minutes earlier I was feeling like we had to much, and here I was already thinking about ordering one from home as soon as I got home.

I bounce between these two thought processes daily. One-wanting to be more humble and minimal, and the other, so stuck in my American ways that I have trouble breaking free from placing importance on material items.

Perhaps one day Sal and I will pass some lucky little Chinese baby in a quiksilver hat. Instead of re-claiming it as ours, I think I will just smile because I know that baby probably needed it more.

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