We cleaned out Hans’ room last week. Installed a proper bed with storage underneath, so his room has lost the “college dorm mattress on the floor” feeling. Because we live in a house with jewel box-sized rooms, streamlining is in order. The IKEA credenza that held all manner of flotsam and jetsam collected from 12 years of living as a young boy in America was dutifully emptied into bags, dumped on the dining room table, and gone through item by item.
Things that were So Important in days gone by have lost their pull. Bouncy balls from the dentist. Matchbox cars from almost every visit to Grandma’s house. Polished stones. Bits of crystal. Teck Deck Dudes. Bottle caps. Strange little plastic things. And, unbelievably, the air soft gun pellets.
Do you have a young boy too? Do you know of these things? And the pull that they had every waking moment outdoors? Gripped by the zeal of a treasure hunter armed with a metal detector on a beach in Maui, Hans would scour every path, park, and patch of dirt for these little round beads. Some colors were everywhere, dropped out of the mouth of an air soft gun like crumbs from Gretel’s pocket. Green for example. But not the see-through green. Those were hard to find, I think. Blues hardly ever showed up. Same with white. My son collected them in his pants pocket and stored them in his room, first in a glass jar, then in a see-through plastic container with dividers so he could separate the colors. This took a lot of time when he was little. The separating bit.
I longed for the day when this fascination passed. When we could go for a walk without staring at the ground, advancing one s-l-o-w foot after another, hunched over like an arthritic octogenarian. Pass it did, into perhaps the Lego fascination or the Teck Deck Dude collecting. Everything passes into something else in life, and this past week I marked the growing up of my son, by liberating the tiny bb’s into my garbage can, and the glass jar back into my cupboard.
And for those wondering, yes, these are all my pictures. Taken from my handy dandy Cannon G11, mostly without any fiddling after the fact in those fancy yet as-yet unlearned programs like Photoshop. I fiddle as I shoot. That is why digital is so fantastic for me. I’m not completely sure how to manipulate all the aspects of F-stop and depth and speed and all that, but I have a bit of knowledge. And I try. If it sucks, I throw it out. If it is cool, I push it a bit more. (Full disclosure: I did uber tint one photo a while ago, but then I hope it was obvious that the boy and the sky wasn’t banana yellow naturally. Oh, and I did pick up some gorgeous pictures of handbags and rings made out of food that someone else took. I’m good, just not THAT good).