Last Thursday, while on holiday, the munchkin lost his hat. Well, in truth, I lost his hat. The responsibility had been passed onto me, as he had gotten too hot while playing on a playground, and so I popped his hat into my pocket. Or at least that is what I thought.
When it came time to leave, I realised that the hat was no longer in said pocket. Before alerting the munchkin, I made an investigation of the scene, retraced our steps and pretty much turned the place over. I checked all my pockets. I unzipped my jacket and checked that it had not gotten caught up inside it. Nothing.
With the grim reality slowly seeping in, I broke the news to the munchkin, who promptly broke into tears, which were followed by sobs, which were followed by inconsolable howls. He clearly loved this hat. It was a funky, striped beanie, with a cool badge on the front (so cool in fact, it changed pictures when you changed directions). He looked really cute in it, and he knew it.
He made the hard choice to sacrifice running over all the bridges (which a minute previously had been a most exciting prospect) and decided to do one last search. Together we re-searched the whole playground. Nothing.
I tried to cheer him up with my own lost hat story – about the one that blew off my head and flew down into the world’s largest waterfall, to be lost forever. At the time I called it “making a sacrifice to the gods of Iguassu”. It only made the sobs more heartfelt. Secretly I hoped that unlike that hat, this little beanie would follow in the footsteps of his father’s hats – and magically reappear when least expected. But I didn’t like to get his hopes up. I told him that he had nearly outgrown it anyway (which was only vaguely true). I told him that, like me, he could see it as a “sacrifice to the world’s best playground” (Lake Pertobe, Warrnambool – as close as he’ll get for a little while). Sobs became howls yet again.
It seems he has inherited the innate family ability to become rather attached to one’s hat, and then to lose it. Our hats become a kind of talisman or extension of our personalities. Several of our hats have travelled the world with us, keeping us protected from the elements in the harshest conditions from subzero temperatures in Nepal, the Andes and Antarctica, to the hot summer sun on Glenelg beach. If only our hats could talk…
Of course, these hats are not just any old hats. Our hats seem to have a “mystical” way of choosing us, in order to become OUR HATS. The wrong hats are discarded or lost pretty quickly. Hubby once lost three in one week while sick in a foreign city. Clearly things were just not meant to be.
However, when a hat does eventually become OUR HAT, it takes on an equally “mystical” ability to return to its owner. Both hubby’s cap and beanie have been lost too many times to count. Sometimes the search has been long and arduous, but resulting in a lucky find. Sometimes, it’s been simply a matter of investigating the pile of dirty clothes beside the bed. So when such a hat flies into hurling waters of raging waterfall, or supposedly picked up by a new owner in an awesome playground, it is only fitting to consider it a sacrifice.
And then it must be replaced.
Which is what I did with the munchkin’s beanie. I took him straight away into a really cool surf shop to choose his next hat. He made his choice – a bright blue beanie, with a huge Quiksilver logo embossed on the front. His tears were wiped away and slowly his puffy, red eyes cleared up. His face brightened and again beamed with joy. He had found a new hat.
So later that afternoon, when I pulled his old beanie from my jacket sleeve and announced the find, he shrugged it off with a “that’s good, Mum” and went on with his game.
And that night he insisted on going to sleep wearing his new beanie. I think he may have found HIS next hat.
This is a Story Starter Challenge post. The cards this week were selected from the Travel theme and were “Lost…” and “Clothing”. If you would like to take up the challenge, either as a guest post in our Your Stories section of the Leaf website, or by posting on your own site and linking here, we’d love you share your stories with us. (We’ll hopefully have LinkyTools up and running next week.)
Next week’s Story Starter Challenge is from the Romance theme. The cards are “My greatest indulgence…” and “Gift”.
Kelly Exeter loses the plot while trying to pack light in Dear Styling You Nikki