Friday, October 24, 2014


    I have saved some of our son's toys. Well, to be honest, I've saved a lot of them. In the attic, I stashed Lego blocks, Thomas the Tank engines, and small but menacing Warhammer models, part of a game that Theo played in junior high school. I displayed wooden trucks and a Mr. Potato Head in a glass-fronted cabinet in our hallway. I still keep board games that nobody except me likes to play anymore. The games -- Shutes and Ladders, Uncle Wiggly, Parcheesi, Clue, Monopoly, Mastermind and Othello -- are squirreled away in the guest room in my hope that a guest will spot them and bring a game out to play. The games chronicle the sequence of rules that Theo grew to understand: one set more difficult than the next.

     Today I had the idea of opening up the old steamer trunk in our bedroom and using it as a place to hold all my unread books, which right now are jammed into three baskets on the floor next to our bed. I love to read and can't help buying almost every book that interests me. But my time to read is more limited than it used to be. I am writing, volunteering, and doing artwork that I put off while Theo was growing up. If I stuffed the books in the top of the trunk, they would be out of the way of the vacuum and wandering feet in the dark of night. I could keep the lid open to remind myself to take one of the books with me as I go about my day.
   I opened the lid of the trunk and saw Theo's old Teddy bears cradled together -- ones that he had sucked, dragged, and almost squeezed the life out of when he was young. They lay so expectantly that I couldn't help think that they were waiting for the next child to come along.

    There was Baseball Buddy with his white and blue striped uniform and cap, Kiddy Bear, half of Baseball Buddy's size, with his blue knit shirt, Sleepy Bear with his striped blue shirt and cap, Adventure Bear with his striped red hand-knit sweater, and Okie, a bear wearing a pair of Oshkosh overalls just like Theo wore when he was two and three. Like the games that Theo no longer plays, these stuffed animals still remind me of the many days that Theo and I played with them. I grabbed my camera, took a picture, and softly closed the lid.
     Theo has graduated from college, and is employed in his field of photography. When I've asked him if he would like to keep his old toys and games, he says, "Put them in the attic for me. In thirty years, I'll look through them and decide what to do with them."
    The books will stay in the baskets for now. I know I will read them all eventually. But the trunk can stay the same way it is too. Who knows when a little kid will ask me to open the trunk to see what lies hidden under the lid?

1 comment:

  1. I loved your words Gus. They brought back so many memories from years past. I just may have to take a nostalgic trip through some of those boxes in the attic too.


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