A Drawer in Time

When you misplace something you really love, how do you handle it?  Do you freak out?  Are you overwhelmed with remorse?  Do you impulsively go to buy a replacement?  Perhaps you just shrug your shoulders and say “Oh well, such is life.”

If you’re like me, you tell yourself that the treasured item is on vacation and that it will return when it has sufficiently rested.  Think of the lawn gnome in Amélie.

  However, unlike the case in which the mischievous hand of Amélie sent the gnome on vacation to various world capitals, our possessions are generally hiding in a unexpected place ready to pop out when we finally stumble upon them.

Still, I’ve found that the loss is a little more bearable if you attribute it to a force of the cosmos, and that all eventually be restored to its proper balance at the right point in time.  This is called wisdom and it comes with aging.

What about when you are four?  A year ago is literally one-quarter of your lifespan.  How many of us can remember clearly what went down a quarter lifetime ago?

Suppose you’re four and you have experienced more excitement and changes in your short life than many adults will face during four score years?


Island Boy is recovering from an illness.  He’s almost better now.  But, I stayed home today to give him an extra day of rest before his triumphal return to Kinder Ready class tomorrow.  However, being me, I had to go to the office to pick up some work to make my day productive.

Island Boy had not been to my office for almost a year.  During his last visit, he had been in the United States for only a few months.  He was not speaking English at that time.  He was still stuttering.

IB and his beloved caretaker, M.

Today at my office, he wandered from room to room.  He was amazed by some of the machines.  He marveled at the photos of himself and his family members.  He explored.

In my conference room is an antique phone stand.  The phone is used only for teleconferences.

The stand has a small drawer.  I’ve never even noticed the drawer, even though I customarily sit facing it during depositions.  If I had noticed it, I would have assumed that the drawer was merely decorative.

Four-year old children don’t make such assumptions.

IB pulled it open and reached inside.

He turned around with a look of surprise and joy on his face.

In his hand, he held his Spiderman sunglasses that have been missing for……Well, for about a year.

IB and new BFF, Senator Chuck Schumer.

IB and I held an impromptu dance party in the SEN. Charles Schumer Conference Room.  I named it for Senator Chuck after he held a press conference there to meet IB and give him a toy after his staff had worked tirelessly to assist us in bringing IB home after the earthquake in Haiti.

The Spiderman sunglasses probably cost about $6 at Walgreens.  To us, they have great value in that Running Girl gave them to IB as a present during an early trip to Haiti.  She then held on to them and re-presented them to him on each subsequent visit.

We figured that the sunglasses were gone forever.  We would see them every once in a while when we looked at photos taken in Haiti.  We would wistfully utter, “Oh, remember those glasses?”

Apparently the cosmos had other plans for them.

That, or the sunglasses went on vacation for a year.

Or, maybe the little boy remembered that he had placed them in that drawer a quarter lifetime ago.

— The Major

IB and his beloved Spideys. Ironically, my sunglasses have now gone missing.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Deb O'Shea on May 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Great vignette. I love when things like that happen. When Chip andI first got together, I was wearing a little gold pinkie ring that, in some intuitive way, looked nautical. I lost the ring — had no idea where and, after frustrating searches, I came to believe that there was a “reason” it was gone. Last Summer (now 20+ years forward in time), Chip was underneath the deck working on water lines and spotted something gold. Sure enough, it was my ring which, somehow, must have fallen through the deck boards. The ring isn’t worth much monetarily, but we both felt he might as well stumbled upon a treasure chest!


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