For reasons which I am still slightly misty on, the kids in Nathan's class were playing by the school with bubbles and throwing their hats around.
Nathan's hat ended up going over the fence into the backyard of one of the houses next to the school. The educational aide in the class said he handled it very well. He was disappointed and sad but agreed to wait until I came to pick him up and then we could go ask the people to look in their backyard.
I found out when I came to pick him up and we counted off houses and knocked on the door of the yard he thought it went into. Except when the woman answered and went to look, she didn't find the hat.
Nathan was more upset after that. It was his favourite hat and I had to tell him that we might not be able to get it back. The next morning, we left notes on the doors of the houses surrounding the first one, asking people to call us if they found the hat.
No luck. Though we did get a couple of families calling to tell us they hadn't found it.
The rain is coming today and that will officially end the search. It's a cheap baseball hat with a cardboard brim, so if it gets wet, it won't be usable again.
Nathan is handling it as well as a seven year old can. He's disappointed and upset with himself but I reminded him that these things happen. It's sad but eventually we feel better.
I wonder if this will be a pivotal memory for him or if it will vanish. We tend to remember these sorts of moments, dropping a favourite Barbie over the side of the boat overrides the memories of the rest of the trip (not that it happened to me, it's just an oddly specific memory that I pulled out of thin air).
I hope I've provided an example of how to deal with frustration. Acceptance with just a bit of insight to avoid repetition, rather than beating yourself up with "what if" and "I should have done x" endlessly repeating in your head.