The things they felt sadness at the time over losing, the things they still remembered losing, were at once trivial and important: the writer's friend recalled when he was 6 years old accidentally dropping a favorite crayon into the toilet just as it was flushing and realizing that he'd lost that special crayon forever.
I knew what that person meant.
Me, I've lost bushels of stuff over the years, important stuff like my keys, library books, a check, my driver's license, and less important stuff that I'm always losing like gloves, sunglasses, which I lose so much that I just buy bunches of pairs of them from the Dollar Tree and wear them over my glasses, watches and earrings, which I also buy many of on the cheap, and of course single socks; it just it seems to be in the nature of sock pairs to lose half of themselves somewhere between the washing machine and the clean-clothes basket.
But of all the things I've lost and continue to lose, I can come up with only a couple of memorable items.
One was a little turtle pin I brought with me to first grade one day and set on my desk and which disappeared before the end of the day. (See post from 12/10/2014).
Fortunately at the age of 6 one's interest in any object has a fairly short shelf life.
But then I lost another thing many years later that, silly trifling thing that it was, I feel an occasional twinge of regret over now and then. The irony is, I didn't accidentally lose this thing; in a thoughtless moment I threw it away.
When my children were young there used to be an Odd Lots in a shopping center near our house. This Odd Lots used to be one of my children's favorite places to go shopping, its shelves stocked with all kinds of random colorful trinkets, a wonderland of things to choose from for under a dollar. Because a dollar or less was my rule back in those penny-pinching days when all our disposable income went for parochial school tuitions, music lessons and groceries.
But on a Saturday afternoon I'd take them and maybe a friend or two along to the Rocky Fork Center strip mall where the first stop would typically be the pet shop to visit and play with the puppies, kitties and gerbils; then next door to the Odd Lots to troll the aisles and look at the all the neat stuff, over-stock oddities and cast-offs from more reputable stores.
Anyway, back in the late 1980's there showed up at our Odd Lots these Topps Bubble Gum trading cards called Dinosaurs Attack!. For a quarter you could get a package containing a square of bubble gum, a sticker and five dinosaur cards. The cards were numbered from 1 to, I don't know, maybe 55 or so, and on the back of each card, starting with card 1 and ending with the last card, was a chapter from a story
Okay. Truth time. I don't remember whether or not my children were enamored of the Topps Dinosaurs Attack! cards. The cards were actually kind of gruesome and scary for a little kid. I was enamored of these cards. It was for myself that I bought them.
Which is probably why, in an effort to clear out some of the mountains of old stuff we'd accrued over the years so that we could accrue more mountains of new stuff, and mixed with a sense of guilt over holding on at my age to something as frivolously self-indulgent as a box of dinosaur cards, I thew the box out.
And immediately regretted doing so.
I still feel a little regret over losing those Dinosaurs Attack! cards .
But only once in a very great while. And only very little.