Friday, April 23, 2021

Like finding a ring in a cul-de-sac

We were playing out in the cul-de-sac the other day when Benjamin lost his new ring from the primary. I have to admit that I'm still a little partial to the old-school CTR rings they used to hand out (fashionably outdated, that's me) and am still getting used to the new "emblems of belonging," but Benjamin has been very excited about his ring and wears it everywhere he goes. 

He was tossing a homemade javelin into a big ol' bush (because for thousands of years sticks have made the best toys and I frankly don't know why we ever buy our children anything), which is one of his favourite games to play outside. None of the neighbours seem to mind (too much?) because the houses are so far removed from the street that he's in no danger of breaking a window or anything like that. He just stands in the middle of the cul-de-sac and hurls this stick at his bush nemesis over and over again. Sometimes the little neighbour girl comes out and joins him (from well over six feet away, of course). She's really into weaponry. 

Anyway, on this fateful day, Benjamin threw the stick like he had a million times before but as his hand was...rebounding...his ring flew off his finger. I heard it clink on the road but we did not see where it landed. And so we began to look. 

We all stood in a line and standing arm-in-arm we "dredged" the cul-de-sac, first walking north to south, then walking east to west, all the while looking for this tiny needle in a haystack (or ring in a cul-de-sac). Then we started in the center of the cul-de-sac and spiraled outwards from there. We could not find his ring.
Benjamin prayed. We looked some more. I looked up the cost of a replacement ring ($3.50). We looked some more. I took off my own CTR ring, which has the same shape as his ring (with the shield and everything) and we dropped it a few times to see whether rolled around a lot or whether it mostly stayed in the same place. It seemed to stay in the same place, which was good because he was so afraid his ring had bounced right down the drain. We looked some more. I joked that perhaps as the sun was setting the light would catch on his ring and we'd be able to find it. We looked some more. 

Our sweet little neighbour came skipping home from a walk she'd taken with her grandparents.

"What'cha doin'?" she asked. 

"Ilostmyring!" Benjamin howled.

"What?" she asked.

"Benjamin's ring flew off his finger while he was throwing his javelin. We're trying to find it," I explained. "But we might not find it before it gets dark, Benjamin. I'm not saying it's hopeless, I'm just saying being truthful so you can adjust your expectations. We've been looking a long time and we haven't found it so we might have to call it a night and continue looking in the morning."

"We'll help you look!" our sweet neighbour girl said. "Won't we, Mimi?"

The fact that she calls her grandma "Mimi" is sometimes awkward for us since we sometimes call our Miriam "Mimi." But Grandma Mimi gushed that of course they'd help look.

"Now, what is it we're looking for?" she asked.

"Benjamin's ring flew off his finger while he was throwing his javelin," I explained, and she didn't even flinch because she's privy to a whole lot of weird things that our family does. She's over often enough that she's practically our next door neighbour herself (even though she doesn't technically live there)."We don't know which way it went, so it could be anywhere."

"What does it look like?" she asked. "Is it silver or gold?"

"It's silver," I said and then started rambling because I didn't really want to make this poor woman comb the cul-de-sac with us, "Well...not real silver, but it's silver-coloured. It's really not a very expensive ring at all..."

"Oh, but it sounds important," she said, giving Benjamin a significant look (and I swear if we weren't in the middle of a global pandemic I could have hugged her for that). 

"It is!" Benjamin sniffed. "It's got a temple on it—like a white building made up of rectangles and triangles—and..."

"Let's keep looking," Mimi (the grandma) said encouragingly. 

So we all wandered aimlessly around the cul-de-sac, kicking at pinecones, getting excited over rocks that "looked like a ring from back there," and then Mimi (the grandma) stooped over, picked something small off the ground, held it up in the air and said, "I think I found it!"

Just as she did so—I kid you not!—the street lamp clicked on, glinting magically off the freshly-found ring she was holding aloft. 

The kids all cheered (neighbour girl included) and Benjamin gushed his gratitude and it ended up being a beautiful evening.

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