I've lost a few things lately. Some small items -- sunglasses, wallet, dog bowl -- went missing for no more than a few hours, but I'm a slovenly Virgo, so in my messes, there is order; I generally don't misplace much. (Except for that dog watering bowl. Seriously, have you seen it?) I've also lost a few big things. My favorite snowboard went sledding out the back of my truck somewhere between the ski park and home, and my cool, collected self went walkabout during a rugby match.
Before Kids (BK), Regina and I used to hit the ski park every weekend. We'd hold mittened hands on the chair lift and laugh at the dudes who skied in jeans. But babies have a way of putting a halt to sport, and while I've snuck out of the house to go boarding a couple times a year since Dylan was born, our dream of becoming the first X-Games boarder-cross couple has gone down the half-pipe.
I realize now that the sight of a 41-year old hooker screaming obscenities may be funny on a Reno street corner, but it's not cool on a rugby pitch. The only upside that I can find about my fit was the kids were out of earshot and that Regina had packed a large cooler of beer, and everyone knows that beer makes everything less embarrassing.
Dylan has been following in her father's losing footsteps. Her jacket, lunch pail, homework, backpack are all fair game when it comes to the What-Gets-Left at school game. Fortunately, her Hello Kitty gear is easy to spot, and usually gets returned. On our last cattle drive, Dylan lost her reins. I wasn't worried when they slipped out of her hands and somehow ended up around her horse's ears. Barney is so old that there are drawings of him in caves in France. But Barney was literally feeling his oats and took off at a gallop down the road. I was too far back to catch him, but Regina finally got her horse in gear and headed off the runaway about a hundred yards down the road. Dylan did awesome. She was scared, but clung to the horn and stayed straight in the saddle.
I hope that the things we lose don't create our memories. I don't want Dylan to only remember her dash down the road when she thinks of horses, just like I don't want to have tailgate paranoia every time I get in my truck or flashes of embarrassment every time I play rugby. I think the kids will remember the great stuff, like pizza and Snickers in a ski lodge and a sunny day spent rolling around on the grass while their dad ran around with a bunch of guys in really short shorts. I will remember, next time, to shut my tailgate. And deep breaths, always take deep breaths.