Kath introduced us to Barbara McClintock’s Adèle & Simon many years ago. The recurring plot to these beautiful picture books is Simon losing his stuff. The kids think it’s funny, but I sympathize with Simon’s older sister Adèle who gets so annoyed with it all. We had a real-life Adèle and Simon moment yesterday in Cologne.
Last week I bought the kids matching vests. I handed them out Friday night and called them their German Unity Day gifts. That’s today by the way--hope everyone’s enjoying it! The kids wore their vests everywhere over the long weekend. Yesterday afternoon on Cologne’s subway train, I noticed Thom wasn’t wearing his.
“Where’s your vest, Thom?”
“You lost it at Rewe?”
“No, I just left it at the train station!”
I was very upset and told him so.
Errol needed to be at the university in 30 minutes. If we went back to look for the vest, it would have to be just me and the kids.
In Adèle & Simon, Simon’s items miraculously get returned through the kindness of strangers who send him his labeled belongings. Knowing that would never happen to us, I decided to take on this search and recovery mission.
We left Errol on the train and the five of us got off to cross the platform and ride three stops back to Kalk Post. When we arrived, I had Thom run over to where he had left it--alone. If it was there, he’d enjoy the amazing feeling of finding the lost and sharing the news. If it was gone, he’d probably appreciate the solitude.
It was there.
I’m glad I decided to go look for it. I think it will be a long-lasting memory from this Cologne trip. I’d like to think it will prevent future lost items. Here's hoping!
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Anne Thomsen lord
Writings on our year abroad.