Yesterday, the Nearly Perfect Husband (also known in these parts as ‘Daddy’ (Marshal), ‘Fah-sah’ (Gabe), ‘But Daaaaad’ (Mac), and – depending on what he is doing (or not doing) – several other monikers that shall remain under literary lock and key. Oh. I also call him JoHn.
Anyway, JoHn and I were in the midst of cleaning out our closet yesterday.
The one… in the bedroom.
The one that we filled up – in 2004 when we moved here – with stuff that we didn’t have time to edit from the house we moved into in 1993 (also with unedited stuff).
So, as you can imagine, it was quite the chore – a nine bags to Goodwill type of chore.
We’d gotten a phone call a week ago, from a very nice human who had heard we were putting the Disposable Shack on the market later this year – as in after the wedding because one can only deal with so much stress at one time.
‘One’ being me.
But these folks are looking for a larger home for their family, and it is very cute to us that their kids are pretty much the same age as ours were when we moved in here. They want to stay in town, and yada yada yada and before I knew it we were all, “Sure, come on over and see it!”
We said it while we were cozy and sitting in Maine, where we have yet to accumulate way too much stuff… wHoops.
Our house is not ready to be shown to people who might want to buy it! I mean, it’s not post nuclear disaster bad, but I would think that someone who is interested might want to see, you know, inside a closet or two… maybe test a drawer… actually walk into the playroom without moving the twin mattress that is blocking the door.
We came home and prioritized, and the closet in our bedroom made it to the top of the list.
And it ended up being a kind of cathartic and yet poignant effort, yielding some pretty cool stuff – homemade gifts created from small Dingles (ones not yet tall enough to ride all the rides at Disney World).
Some of them are in the pic above. We particularly liked the Christmassy one up front – drawn by Mac – and signed by all… including Gabe, who had decided to call himself by his first name, Jason, for about a month (Silly. Who goes by their first name?). Note he began signing with a ‘G’, and quickly crossed it out and wrote Jason, which I think he had to ask how to spell.
Also, for some reason JoHn and I seem to have peg-legs.
We laughed a little, welled up a bit, and smiled a lot.
Side benefit of pack-ratting to the point of not being able to find anything: Nearly everything not in daily sight-lines becomes a surprise. So many pleasant memories peeked their little heads out. Then pain.
I stepped on something with bare feet…
A stinkin’ plastic landmine from long ago.
We texted all the kids, asked if anything was off limits – our next stop after our closet was… the playroom.
Sam asked us to save any music books.
Gabe said we could chuck all the extraneous game controllers.
Mac wHined, “nooooooooo… my Legooooooooos!”
But, at the ripe old age of 24 (and living in Seattle), she really didn’t have a case.
Let me paint a picture for you.
In our playroom, we have shelves. Lots and lots of shelves – and I mean built-in ones that take up entire walls. And also drawers. Lots and lots of drawers. Why? Well, being a fan of something called ‘user-centered design’, I designed the room around the primary users: Little Rugrats with lots of BCMP* (Brightly Colored Molded Plastic) – some of which could be displayed, but much of which would need to be hidden in a rush should company be about to happen.
Every single shelf, and sometimes four to five figures deep, were filled with Legos; a Harry Potter castle here… Star Wars Death Star there… Scooby Doo mystery machine? Sure! Basilisks and Death Eaters, dinosaurs, a shark (is there a Jaws Lego set?) and Bionicles by the dozens (and dozens and dozens).
I stopped counting the Legos lodged in the floor, between the carpet and cabinets at, like, 17, pretty happy that we didn’t have too many loose paralyzing foot destroyers to deal with. Kind of cool that we could just sweep the figures into boxes from the shelves…
And then we looked in one of two huge drawers and realized to our horror that it was filled – filled – with individual Lego pieces. And this drawer is more than three feet wide and about 18 inches deep.
My first thought was, “Are you kidding me?!”
Then I sort of smiled to myself.
That drawer was a kids’ treasure trove containing hours upon hours of old-fashioned, imaginary fun.
I was transported back…
DAD! MOM! Come see what I made!
Sam made a spaceship! Come see! I helped him with the windshield but he did the rest all by himself!
Gabe… GABE! Stop wrecking my tower!
Leave me alone! I want to do it mybyself! Mooooooooooooommmmm!
My smile spread wider.
How simple, how grounding.
So, in honor of the first number that came to mind when I looked at that drawer of horrors (and, of course, with a nod to Rent)…
525,000 plastic so dear.
How do you measure, measure the years?
In Star Wars, in Quiddich, in Storm Beasts , In Hogwarts Castle
T-rexes, and cities, Bionicles gear
In 525,600 Legos, memories of your younger children come clear
And remind you of… looooooooove.
So very much… looooooove.
Foot pain and looooooooove…
Legos of loooooooove.
Thank for readin’.
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