We had a tragic loss in our family on Saturday.
We lost a brand new Nike tennis-shoe that my in-laws had sent Caleb for his birthday. He hadn't even owned the shoes a full 24 hours when one of them went AWOL in London.
My mother and I spotted a lonely sock just before we were getting ready to get on the tube to go back home. Mom promptly went back up the stairs to search back to Starbucks and in the general vicinity for the lost footwear. She returned empty handed.
With tears in my eyes, I back tracked the same territory and a little further, around the outside of Harrods. Harrods is a gigantic, upscale department store in downtown London. I've been asked if it's comparable to Macy's. Having never been to a Macy's, I can't say. The only comparison I can make is to a posh Midwestern department store. So for my Omaha friends, imagine Von Maur. But probably about five times bigger. And five times posher. Selling diamonds the size of my eyeballs. And children's jackets that cost about $500.
Anyway, a lengthy search outside the store did not turn up the lost shoe. I would have gone back in Harrods, but that would have taken hours. Even with a store map, mom and I had gotten lost numerous times while we were in there. So I returned to the Knightsbridge tube station broken hearted.
This wasn't just a shoe. It was a very generous gift from my mother- and father-in-law. Now I wouldn't necessarily call Ed and Linda "name brand people." There are things that are important in life, and for Ed and Linda name brands just aren't as important as loving people and making great sweet tea. But they knew their son. Tommy had infected his younger brother and sister with an affinity for name brands. Tommy was the first name brand snob in his family, and it was contagious. Ed and Linda's gift was also a gesture. It was their way of infecting our son early to make sure we'd have to go through years of "But I HAVE to have it"s to make up for the damage Tommy did to his brother and sister.
And now that gift was gone. Or so I thought.
I contacted Harrods the next day on the off chance that someone had found it. Lo and behold, the lost Nike was in possession of the Lost Property department! After a little finagling, they agreed to mail the shoe back to us.
Today we received not only the lost shoe, but a lovely hand-written note from Suresh who had mailed the shoe and an adorable miniature teddy bear for Caleb. It was a grand reunion between the shoes! I'm so happy to have that shoe back, I can't begin to tell you.
Welcome back, shoe!