I helped Hans clean his room last week. We upgraded him to a queen-sized bed with storage underneath, but because we live in a house with jewel box-sized rooms, streamlining was in order. There's no room for the IKEA credenza, top covered and drawers crammed with all manner of flotsam collected from 12 years of living as a young boy in America. So everything was dutifully emptied into bags, dumped on the dining room table, and picked through item by item.
Things that were So Important in days gone by have lost their pull. Bouncy balls from the dentist. Matchbox cars from almost every visit to Grandma's house. Polished stones. Teck Deck Dudes. Bottle caps. Strange little plastic things. And, unbelievably, the air soft gun pellets.
If you have a young son, perhaps you know the pull these orbs have. Gripped by the zeal of a treasure hunter armed with a metal detector on a beach in Maui, Hans would scour every path, park, and patch of dirt for these little round beads. Some colors were everywhere, dropped out of the mouth of an air soft gun like crumbs from Gretel's pocket. Green for example. But not the see-through green. Those were hard to find, I think. Blues hardly ever showed up. Same with white. My son collected them in his pants pocket and stored them in his room, first in a glass jar, then in a see-through plastic container with dividers so he could separate the colors. This took a lot of time when he was little.
I longed for the day when the fascination passed. When we could go for a walk without staring at the ground, advancing one s-l-o-w foot after another, hunched over like an arthritic octogenarian. Pass it did, into perhaps the Lego fascination or the Teck Deck Dude collecting. Everything passes into something else in life, and this past week I marked the growing up of my son, by liberating the multicolored bb's into my garbage can, and the glass jar back into my cupboard.
With a Perspective, I'm Sue Glader.