My men like to bring me the feathery “wishing balls” of dandelions past their flowering. I think it’s such a generous act, to want to give me their wishes. Of course, these days, such opportunities are few, it being January and all. A few days ago, however, my middle son brought me this one.
I told him that I thought he should make the wish because I, “can’t think of a thing in the world that I need, that I don’t already have.” He insisted that no, the wish was mine, and he’d take our collected feathers out of the brown bottle, so that he could use it to keep the “wish” for me. “Until you need sumthin’, because wishes are better than feathers.”
(pensive few seconds)
“Unless you are a bird,” he concluded.
I’m sure that there’s a very fine lesson in there somewhere, if only I had time and unoccupied grey matter enough to discern it.
Right next to that brown bottle, is a milk glass vase that was recently made full of reedy things that the boys found, somewhere in the yard. They came in with gobs of them, all smiles, hollering, “Look, Mama! Look what we found!”
I oohed and ahhed and brought out a vase for them, exclaiming over what lovely winter decorations they made.
They gave each other puzzled looks. Then me. Then each other, until finally one of them said, “Well, yeah, you can have ’em if you want.”
“Oh! I’m sorry. I thought they were for me. What had you meant them for?”
“We thought they’d be good for starting an explosion if we can find some plutonium!”
“Yeah,” says brother. “We’re going to make an exploding booby trap.”
Hmmmmmm, decoration or destruction? Tough call, right?
In the end, half went in the vase and half went into their “fort” out back, with the promise that no fires will be started without Daddy.
I think that I might need that wish after all. I’m going to wish, and hope and pray with all my heart that my band of men make it to adulthood unscathed.