Keeping Jasmine’s Shoe

Keeping Jasmine’s Shoe

Today, unusually, I had a few moments to peer into the small wooden box one of my children made me years ago, one of those made-in-school-for-the-holiday presents.  Since the latch never really worked, this box with lid has lain open on my dresser, since its arrival, and has served as the main stash for my earrings, both complete sets and those whose mates have long been lost. However, one curious item in this box doesn’t fit with the rest: it’s never been used, worn or even transported to the overstuffed attic. This is one white shoe belonging to Jasmine, doll of Aladdin fame.

I think I know where Jasmine is, although I doubt she has much of a wardrobe left. If I remember correctly, her hair was bobbed at one point, I’m sure she was bathed numerous times, and at some point in the past, her lonely, toe-turned-up slipper arrived in this box. It has lain in waiting, I suppose, to be reunited with its owner. Maybe tonight will be the night!

It’s curious to me why this item has remained parked while so much other material moves through the house.  Jasmine and my daughter have moved far beyond missing it;  I’m the one who’s kept it warm and dry. Like so many other trophies, papers, books, stuffed animals, and artwork, the house is full of signposts of an earlier, more contained, and somehow less complicated time. The kids were small and the stuff overflowed. Now, like flotsam, it re-emerges from time to time, washed up on present day shores. I might be overwhelmed, but I am thankful.

Yesterday I wanted to write about “simple rules.” An example:  “Life is short, don’t wear scratchy clothes.” Or  “If your dog gives you an odd look, doesn’t come when you call, rolls on his back in the wide open field,  and trots up wearing a wet mark on his mid-back, DON’T get close to examine it.” A long rule, perhaps,  but simple.

But when I try to find a simple rule about throwing out the artifacts of children, like this shoe, the process gets complicated and multi-layered. Some people live by the easy rule for this: “Throw it out!  But others contemplate, hesitate, and thus actually run into one of my Dad’s simple rules: “He who hesitates, is lost.”

I think for now Jasmine’s shoe may stay, since I only heard Dad use this rule for two scenarios: shopping and driving.  I don’t think he would apply it to very small shoes.


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