Regular readers will know that a couple of weeks ago, my son lost his Superman bag containing some Lego and, more importantly, his best friend since he was born – a small, greying, cuddly toy rabbit by the name of Rabby.
There have been many tears shed since Rabby was lost. Knowing that we may never see him again has been unbearable for all of us. My little boy has had ups and downs and has faced many new challenges, such as the start of a new school term, without the security that he’d once found in his best mate. It’s been hard.
My (ex)Wife and I have been bracing ourselves for the worst. We discussed the possibility that Sam may need to find some closure on the matter. Perhaps a little ceremony? Do I start digging a little hole in the garden maybe? I’m not sure what would help exactly…
Well, just 2 days ago, we were called with some news about “a kids bag that has some toys in it“.
Could this be Sam’s bag?
It’s been several weeks since it was lost. What are the chances that this could be the right bag? Each day that passes and it’s getting slim, right? How many kids lose their bags with toys in it?
Let’s not get our hopes up. It’s easy for dreams to be destroyed…
Well, here’s what happened recently.
Just a couple of days ago my (ex)Wife phones me and says that someone from the bus station had called her back about her enquiry she made a couple of hours earlier.
What made her phone the bus company? After all, we were sure that the bag was lost in Brighton station. Even my little girl remembered poking Sam’s bag while we were in the queue to get a ticket to London.
Well, we’ve all been meditating on Rabby’s return. Call it Wishful thinking or Hope or Postive affirmations or Prayer. Could any of these things really work? Earlier in the day, as he was lying on the bed with my (ex)Wife being miserably ill (school’s great for getting bugs!), Sam said “I know where I left Rabby“.
Apparently, since he’d had time to think and let his unconscious mind wander and recall the events of that fateful day the precise moment when he put the bag down came back to him. And it wasn’t in front of the magazine shelf at WHSmiths. It wasn’t in the queue for the tickets. It wasn’t even in at Brighton station. Remembering back, he vividly recalled putting his bag down on the steps of the bus just as we were getting off.
My (ex)Wife had thought of calling the bus company several weeks ago but they were closed at the time she phoned, so she left it. She hadn’t even considered contacting them since that point as we were all sure that the bag was lost at the station. However, Sam’s certainty that his bag was on the bus prompted her to call the local bus company.
So on Thursday around midday, I received a telephone call from her explaining the situation. She’d called and the bus people had phoned her back saying that they’d got “a kids bag with some toys in it” and would we like to come down and see if it is the right one?
At this point, I’m skeptical. It’s several weeks since the bag was lost. We were sure that Sam had his bag in the queue for the ticket. But there was a little niggling part of me that praying really hard that this would be the right bag and that Rabby would be inside.
Please God, let Rabby be found!
Now, I’m not a particularly religious person. I’d say I am spiritual but the lapses in my religious upbringing would probably have me labelled as a “heathen” or “one that is eternally damned with no chance of salvation”. I mean, technically, I would’ve been a Muslim. And I supposed I am apart from the 1) pre-martial intercourse; 2) children born out of wedlock; 3) gambling; 4) occassional drinking; 5) unpure thoughts; 6) having tried drugs recreationally in the past (and Yes, I did inhale. And even more shocking, it *was* enjoyable at the time and it’s not messed me up; made me kill or hurt anybody or ruin my life… but I’m paraphrasing Bill again), 7) not praying 5 times a day; 8) not being *able* to pray; 9) not fasting; 10) not celebrating traditional religious events; 11) having tried pork, ham, bacon and other pig-related products; 12) not being able to grow a long beard due to my genes making me relatively hairless; 13) not believing in Jihad, holy wars or fatwa’s; 14) not having the slightest inclination to ever go an a pilgrimage to Mecca and 15) not giving to charity…
But * apart* from that, I’d say I was a relatively good Muslim. So looks like, I’ll probably be stoned to death… Personally, I’d rather it was done with my own stash and rolling tobacco, thankew very much . Saying that, it’s been years…*sigh* that’s what happens when you have kids and get all responsible!
Okay, we’ll technically, out of 15, I do occasionally give to charity. So that’s not so bad, I suppose… Boy, am I damned!
So… where was I?
Oh, yes, praying that the bag would be the right one and making stuff up to say to the big G so that this one thing will work. You know, like saying “Please Lord, if you make this right then I’ll [fill in the blank] for the next [fill in time period] and even go to [fill in your place of worship] regularly!“. Yeah, right… as if! Like that’s going to work.
But if you remember back, this isn’t about me. It’s about Sam. And he was the one that, a couple of months back, found someone’s mobile phone and made me find the owner to return it. It was a really nice phone too – would’ve gotten a few quid if I’d flogged it – and I would’ve gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that meddling kid…
And where we live, in Brighton, there’s lots of talk about spirituality and Karma and retribution. We’re pretty big on “What goes around, comes around”. Sheesh… does this whole Karmic circle thing look like it’s going to be given a death blow! We’re about to destroy a little boy’s dream and simultaneouly prove that Karma, the universe, God, positivity and all of that type of stuff *doesn’t work*!
What a great way to start a school year. It’s all a big learning curve. And how quickly a kid can learn that life sucks, things are harsh and “it’s not fair” is the way it goes.
So anyway, I take a break from my work and I head down to the 1 Stop Travel Shop (catchy name, eh?) down at the Steine and, as usual, there’s this horrendously long queue – and it’s not as if they’re understaffed, either!
Well, the (ex)missus had said to phone her as soon as I knew. So I’m waiting in line. And waiting. And waiting…
And each minute, I’m thinking “Please, please, please God” and on the other hand “I bet it’s not his bag”. As I’m standing in line, I can see a small bag through an open doorway and it’s the wrong colour. Red, not blue, so now I’m all primed for a major disappointment by the point that the woman calls me over.
I explain to her that I’m looking for “a kids bag with toys in it” and give her the item number as a reference. Well, she tells me to hold on and she goes and finds the log book. This takes her a couple of minutes and I’m really bracing myself now. It’s around this point that I’m thinking of things to say to Sam about the situation. Perhaps telling him a story or a metaphor might make it easier…
“Y’know, Son. Trees have these precious leaves all over them which help them to breathe and grow up strong. But at times they have to get rid of the leaves and face harsh winters covered in snow and stand out in the freezing cold and the animals all leave them, so they’re all alone and…” Okay, so maybe that’s not my best idea…
Anyway, the lady goes off and says she’ll be back in a minute. Thankfully, she passes right by the bag I spotted through the doorway earlier and heads off for a couple of minutes. She returns empty handed and says she’s just got to look upstairs or something.
Well, she takes ages. It feels like an eternity. Probably no more than 5 minutes but I’m sure you’re all familiar with that Matrix like slowdown when you’re waiting for something important to happen. Now, was it the red or blue pill that I should’ve taken at this point?
And she returns.
With a bag in her hand.
And it’s not red.
But I can’t see the front of it and can only see the black straps on the back of the bag.
And she turns it round.
Y’know what? After all of that, have I just wasted my time or WHAT?!?
I’ve taken a good hour out of my day to go down to the “Travel Shop”, queued up and gotten stressed out… and for what exactly? And for what…?
So that I can now tell my little boy that life’s all messed up? Hell, why don’t I just go ahead and tell him that Santa doesn’t really exist and neither do Elves, Elvis or Pixies and that the reason why things are so messed up is because there’s really bad people in the world who nick things.
Like kid’s bags.
Evil tykes who’d run off with anything thing they can get their hands on to sell later so that they can buy drugs and get messed up because they don’t want to face the lives they live as they have nothing to look forward to in life.
Or having to explain that people like to kill each other because “that’s just the way things go, Son!“.
Bad things happen every day – get used to it. If you want to see how bad life really is, then all you have to do is to read a newspaper and sink into depression everyday on your way to work.
So… is this really the case? And has my little boy been mentally scarred for life?
The thing is:
Karma does work.
There is a God.
Santa does exist.
And so do Elves and Pixies.
Life isn’t a bitch.
There are people that do care and things aren’t as messed up as you imagine them to be.
What goes around *does* come around.
And good things do come back to good people.
A great kid with a heart of gold.
A brave little kid who has the courage to make a difference in other people’s lives.
A wonderful kid who now *believes* that good things do happen to good people…
…because it *WAS* the right bag.
And it did have his Lego men inside.
And more importantly, Rabby was there too, just waiting for Sam to find him…
Dreams do come true.
You just have to believe in it enough and let the universe do the rest…