"Why do you think I'm so strong, Momma?" After various promises to shoot me an elk or bear and make a rug with the head still on it, Jack dreams of being a man. He and Jane spend hours hunting game in the play room, out in the yard.
Last January we loaded all their toys into bins, even the new pop-guns. We meant to make an impression. And then they hardly noticed. Five bin-fulls. A few tears, then nothing.
Months went by, half a year, never did get around to giving the toys back.
It's dinner tonight, "My high today was playing in the playroom with Jane." It's always a game of high adventure; most times they nearly die. In the end one or another saves the day. Even Lulie knows the rules. Between stacks of books and wadded islands of blankets, high honor, valiant risk, our drab playroom transforms into a universe. They weave stories without thinking -- and play.
Isn't that where it all begins, there in the playroom without toys? They play. And almost without my noticing, a life-long thinker emerges, a playing child that moves on to words and numbers and long strands of ideas, literature, physics. They play, invent the whole world.
Sort of makes me afraid to buy them any toys.