Saturday, December 31, 2005

Childhood in a Tin Box

Christmas is a lot about nostalgia and memories. My mom serving my grandmother’s suet pudding with hard sauce. The Christmas stockings that my other grandmother made for us kids. Remembering the year that Santa brought me the small white portable record player, and the stack of Nancy Drew Mysteries (which I sat down and read cover to cover).

This year, Santa brought my son a set of Jacks. They are beautiful gold and silver jacks, with rounded points and a heavy feel. They came in a tin with 2 red rubber balls. My sister and I sat down on the floor to demonstrate how to play. It reminded me of days sitting on the linoleum floor of Mom’s kitchen playing jacks, only ours had sharp ends and we had used a high-bouncing superball.

This time we found that we had lost the knack. Our tosses were wild, we scooted for position on the floor, we strategized over which jacks to pick up, we dropped some, our hands felt stiff. We were playing like middle-aged women. But after a few games, we stopped thinking so much and fell into the rhythm of the game. Our hands remembered what it felt like to be a kid. Toss, swipe, bounce, catch. I always loved the sound of the game. Of course, by this time the kids had wandered off to play their electronic games.

I picture Santa with a special twinkle in his eye as he dropped the jacks into my son’s stocking. Maybe, just maybe, they were really meant for me. Thank you Santa, and thank you Channel Craft.

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