My husband are I are raising six lively children; two-thirds of which are boys. (Come March, one will be a man…but let’s not think about that just yet. Oy vey.) And the boys are bookends of the bunch.
Which means that for almost eighteen years now, I’ve been buying, stepping on, picking up, sorting, containerizing, carrying, hot-gluing, and looking frantically for, an ever-growing collection of “guys.” That is what they all are called: guys. Whether they are Jedis, Lord of the Rings or Narnia figures, army men, knights, or comic-book style superheroes, they are cherished “guys” and we cart them around everywhere. There are always some in the car, the bottom of my purse (covered in crumbs), scattered in the bottom of the bathtub or kitchen sink, in pockets, puddles, sofa cushions, strollers – for a while my youngest took to carting guys around in an empty cereal box. Guys appear out of nowhere in church, and even – true story – were spotted this Christmas in the crèche on our table “protecting the baby Jesus.” My daughters were never much inclined to carry dolls around outside of the home, but my sons all clasped ever-so-tightly to miniture men with gigantic powers.
Their eyes would shine as they studied their guys in quiet contemplation. Then, silently, their lips would move as they began an imaginary scene. More guys would be gathered, and epic stories unfolded on the carpet, in the car, even the shopping cart. And always, the everyday would fade away and scenes I would never fully see were played out in imaginations filled with boyish wonder. Bad guys would be thrown, smashed, tossed, hit, flung. And good guys would be lifted, victorious in the end. And it would repeat, day after day, hour after hour. Continue reading