Friday, January 10, 2014

The Lost Shooter

We have been in India for almost two months now, but one of my strongest memories is from our trip from the U.S.

We stopped in Frankfurt and spent the night at the hotel connected to the airport. Everyone relaxed, spread out, and gave each other space (or as much space as a one and a half-year old is willing to give).

We had bought Sam a small, new Chima lego for the trip. For anyone who has flown, you can only imagine how difficult it would be to put together 100 tiny pieces on a seat-back tray through light turbulence. So, Sam had waited until we had checked into our room to put it together. It was a raven glider...kind of like a black jet ski with raven wings. Pretty awesome.

He played with it all night, and carried it as we walked the short stroll the next morning from the hotel to the airport and our gate, through check-in and security.

I tend to travel very conservatively. Elise makes fun of me, because I like to arrive at the airport three hours early. I figure travel is stressful enough--especially with three small children--without rushing through security or worrying if we will miss our flight. But the morning we were to fly from Germany to India we were running a little late, even have spent the night in a hotel connected to the airport. Everyone was already suffering from jet lag that would be mild in comparison for what was to come the following day. Nevertheless, it was difficult to rouse them at 9:00 a.m. to catch our morning flight.

We had to rush, and Sam was being super helpful, pushing our one carry-on with our overnight clothes through the airport with one hand while holding the raven glider in the other. Elise and I were pushing strollers and carrying cameras and, most likely, Clementine and Peter, as well.

We hurried to our gate and up the jetway. Sam was struggling to keep up, his lips pursed with determination.

Then, I heard him cry out, literally as I was putting one foot onto the plane. He had dropped the raven pilot's special blue crystal Lego shooter. His face was panicked. I looked up the jetway and saw a surge of passengers rushing toward us. The shooter could have been anywhere on that jetway, a tiny black lego piece lost on meter after meter of black rubber mat.

For a split second, I was going to go back for it. I didn't know where it was or if I was going to find it, but I wanted to try. But logic took hold. The shooter was lost. Sam cried, and I tried to console him. My heart went out to him. I felt like I lost something, too, like I had left something behind, because I know how much the shooter meant to him and I appreciated that he had lost it helping his parents when they needed him most.

I think about that moment on the jetway all the time. I can't get over the sense of loss even though I am sure Sam never thinks about that shooter anymore. Mostly because he got four new Chima legos for Christmas and now has a whole armory of lego shooters. I try to tell myself it is only a shooter and that it wasn't like I had left Clementine in Germany, but the memory plays over and over in my head though I am not sure why. 

1 comment:

Nomads By Nature said...

I totally feel for you. I think it is when your brain and your heart are pulled in two different directions and you have to choose between them. If it were your own item, you get over it, but it is your child, and you know the sentiment that missing shooter represents. Tough lesson in life, he will be stronger for having it, but as a parent it still hurts.