The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN: A Piece Of You Becoming A Piece Of Me…
As a child, we are taught to share our toys. We are urged to not be greedy and allow other kids to play with our things even though a particular thing might be precious to us.
When I was a kid, some of my cousins that lived in Indiana would come down for a visit. My uncle and aunt would drive them down and spend a couple of days with us. Beforehand, my mom would mention that they were on their way. My eyes would get big. Not with excitement but with dread.
It’s not that I didn’t like them. On the contrary, they were some of the sweetest people I have ever met and I was glad that I was related to them. They thought I didn’t have a southern accent, which I loved.
No, the reason I would be filled with dread was (and it’s still true) because I’m shy, sensitive, and introverted. Normalcy would soon be disrupted. My comfortable place would soon be less so.
And…it would mean…I would have to share my toys.
After the news was delivered to me, I would plan on a defense. I usually had a couple of days to a week to make strategies and put plans into motion. When the time was close, I would go to my room and shut the door. Then I would gather all of my favorite toys, usually a lot of Star Wars figures and certain stuffed animals that were my friends and let them in on what was going to happen. They would listen quietly as I explained how the plan would work and what I expected from them.
After that, I would go to my closet and pull out toys that I had no interest in, either future yard sale fodder or broken toys that were just one viewing away from my father to be tossed into the trash, and I would put them in the floor. Then I would take my best toys (my friends) and put them in the very back of my closet. I would pile blankets and shoes on top of them and there they would hide until my cousins were safety heading back to Indiana.
My cousins must have thought I still liked to play with baby toys and didn’t know how to take care of what I had. I would do my best to get them outside to play, far away from my room. I’d let them ride my bike all they wanted. It would be pretty hard for them the break that. I hadn’t been able to do so, so how could they?
Once they were out the door and heading North, I would gather the toy fodder into a pile and dig out all of my good stuff. I would switch these for those and all was right in the world again. My ‘friends’ would talk about what had happened and what they did while in hiding.
I still have that kind of imagination.
I think back about that and wonder if that had been a bad thing to do. I didn’t see my Indiana cousins very often. Maybe I should have been a little more willing to show them the ‘good stuff’.
OK. Maybe there was one situation that set it off…
It may have been the first time they came down. My cousin, Trey (not his real name) was closer to my age than the others. We hit it off, more or less. Star Wars was the biggest thing in the world at the time and I was showing him my collection of figures. The downfall of the whole thing was my Princess Leia action figure. Here are two very young boys with a female action figure. I had been in love with her and now Trey was falling in love with her. Not just Princess Leia, but MY Princess Leia.
The time had come to go to bed. I had bunk beds and he got in the bottom bunk and I got my usual top bunk, my lofty sleep perch so I can behold all of my kingdom. He wanted to sleep with Princess Leia. (Now calm down, we were just little boys under that age of six. Nothing like THAT crossed our minds. Well, not mine. Not yet.)
Even though this was a piece of plastic in the shape of a movie character, I felt oddly weird about it. I know now it was jealousy.
I eventually relented and let him hold her as he slept.
The next morning she was nowhere to be seen. I asked him if he had her and said he didn’t. He said she must have fallen out of the bed and onto the floor. I know that was wrong because I had looked. I even used my very young and skinny arms to lift the mattress up.
I knew in my heart he had pocketed Leia.
And, he had.
His mom must have seen him with it and told him to give it back. He never handed it back to me but placed it on my dresser before they departed. I had assumed he stole it until I got back to my room and saw her laying there.
I knew from that moment on that would never happen again.
You mess with my Leia, you get to play with crap when you come over next time.
With all of that, I learned things are just things. Sharing is very important to make us grow and to understand how to be generous. To give of ourselves is to give our hearts and to help show others that we love and care about them.
Except, real sharing, the important sharing, doesn’t involve things, it doesn’t involve material items. It’s about sharing time. It’s about sharing your insight. It’s about sharing the love.
Very few children are taught this. We usually learn this through experience with other people, which can be hard when you’re an introvert and shy. Or we learn it when we have our own children. We want to share our lives and loves with them hoping they latch on to some things that we care about.
It’s these important things that we learn to share with others that mean so much. These little bits of ourselves can become little bits of others. Some of these things catch hold and grow.
In my life, I have had some very important pieces of other people become part of my DNA. Things that they shared with me have become things that I love and cherish. From music to books to movies or just a moment in time that without them, I would have never experienced and become how I measure certain things. These things have become a part of me and are so important, I want to share them with others. I want to share those pieces with others.
I still have that Princess Leia action figure and I haven’t talked to my cousin in many, many years. Last I heard, he was doing very well, married and with kids of his own. I like to think that a few years passed and he thought about his almost abduction of Leia and knew it would have been a mistake. Maybe he shared that feeling with his kids and how they should never stand between somebody’s Princess and them.
And just in case I ever see him again, I’ll make sure Leia is packed away in the closet.
June 22nd, 2018
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.