When I started to attend sleepaway camp, my mom bought a "Camp Stamp." You send away for a little rubber stamp with your name and phone number on it. It's non-washable and easier than conquering your kid's fat stack of garments and a Sharpie. Everything I ever brought to camp has my name and number in it. Now, of course, I don't wear most of the clothes I did as a camper, but there are a few things. A couple old sweatshirts, a towel here and there.
Years ago my mom and I were in disagreement about something. I can't remember what, but I know the issue had something to do with me wanting more freedom, and her wanting to check in on what I was doing. Maybe it was when I went to New York, and she wanted me to call her every night. It was something I didn't really mind, but it just seemed silly--being an adult and having to jump through an arbitrary hoop. I was arguing for my freedom, she for her rights as a mother, and then she said, "It's not like I'm asking you to write my name in your underpants or something!"
My mom has the same name as I do. So of course my answer was, "IT'S ALREADY THERE!"
It just occurred to me that the number is the landline from our old home. If I do lose something in the future, a nice person is going to try to return it to me and find a family who has no need for a purple cat washcloth.
Tears stream down your face
when you lose something you cannot replace.
Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones.