My son, very badly, wants a Star Wars LEGO #7662: Trade Federation MTT.
My wife believes it is a large, expensive piece(s) of plastic that will be destroyed, lost and forgotten.
I know his pain.
When I was a nine years old boy, I wanted, with all my heart and soul, a Fort Navarone playset.
It was a giant mountain of a fort that came with armies, vehicles, guns and a real, live working elevator. It was the greatest thing in the world.
It was almost Christmas and the Fort Navarone playset was glossy and crinkled in the JC Pennys catalog. The smell of the ink was strong on my fingers. I had been reviewing the details of it for hours and then stashing it under the couch for easy access. I finally got up the nerve to ask my dad if I could have it for Christmas. I practiced asking and kept repeating, “It’s the only toy I want!”
Dad was in the kitchen and I stood at the doorway with the catalog behind my back. He beckoned me forward and I came in, my socks sliding across the linoleum.
“I think I know what I want for Christmas.”
I put the catalog out and he took it.
I said bravely, “The Fort Navarone Playset. It comes with armies and tanks.”
Dad looked over his glasses to get a closer view.
I forgot to say it was the only gift I wanted for Christmas.
He cut me off before I had the chance. He said, and I remember it to the word, “This? This is just a big piece of plastic. It’s not worth the money.”
He handed the catalog back and I left the kitchen. I tore out the page and hid it between my mattress and bedspring. I’d pull it out every so often, but those times became fewer and further between.
Months later I found it when we were pulling our mattresses off our beds to have a pile of soft to jump into from the top bunk. By that time I had hardened my heart to it. I threw it out.
But I never forgot it.
I’m not mad at my father because of this. He’s right. It was a big hunk of plastic that probably wasn’t worth the money. To him.
Now my son wants this huge, expensive hunk of plastic that he will probably destroy, lose and forget.
But I do not forget.
Merry Christmas Greg.