I have written many times about the two little girls who live near me who visit every week. Their youngest sibling, three-year-old T., has now become a visitor. In fact, his mother told me the other day that he put on his socks and shoes and announced he was going over to see Miss Susan, and when she told him he couldn’t because I was busy, he had a fit. Ah, to be loved so much!
Yesterday T. came over for his first visit all by himself, without his sisters for back-up. He absolutely adores playing with his little cars and trucks, but I told his mother not to send him over with his own because I had a little surprise for him. Cleaning out one of the guest room closets last week, I came across a plastic tub of my sons’ old metal Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. When T. came over and I showed him the tub, his eyes got so big, I thought they would pop. The two of us sat and played with those cars on the back patio for an entire hour. I couldn’t believe how fast the time went.
We also found, among the little metal cars, a plastic figure that had belonged to my sons. It was Count Dracula, and I used my best Dracula voice and made him the gas station attendant. Since T. had no idea who Dracula was, I’m sure he wondered at my Transylvania accent, but he got into the spirit of the play and made Dracula talk as well. His Dracula told the cars to play nice and stop crashing into each other. Not a Dracula I’m familiar with. Years in that coffin must have made him reconsider his nastiness.
After we had been playing for awhile, I sat back and watched T. make his little screeching car noises and fire truck siren sounds and thought back to the two little boys whose cars these were. One is now a lawyer and financial compliance officer, and the other one is a neurogeneticist. They have not touched these cars in decades. And yet…and yet (excuse me, the pause was so I could wipe the tear out of my eye), if I were to bring them outside to my back patio and sit them down with T., I feel certain I would hear those little boy sounds tripled.
When it was time for T. to go home, I knew he would have trouble leaving those cars behind, so I suggested he choose one to borrow. I asked him if he knew what borrowing meant. He assured me he did. I told him to choose just one, and he, of course, chose three. We compromised on two. As he held them in his little hands, I said, “Now whose cars are those?” He looked at them carefully and said, “Mine?” We need to work on vocabulary next time he visits.