Tuesday, August 16, 2005

[random] Once upon a time

One of the joys of becoming a parent is seeing childhood through new eyes. And, as a parent (if you're lucky) you're given permission to reinvestigate, however briefly, tangentially, or vicariously, those things you loved as a child. I know how incredibly fortunate I am that I've been given this opportunity, and I wish I could loosen up more and go with it without feeling quite so self-conscious. But I do have the luxury of being able to participate in this process, and right now, I'm being given permission to rediscover fantasy. A month or so ago, we spent the weekend at Ocean Shores, WA. While there, we bought a kit for making sand castles. The kit has a couple of molds for a crenellated tower and a wall section, flags, rollers with 'stone' patterns on them, and a dozen cheapo plastic knights in silver and gold. This was a huge hit with our son - I figured it would be, given how well our reading of The Narnia Chronicles went - and after the beach trip, one of his favorite games was playing archer with a longbow made from a plastic clothes hanger and a construction-paper quiver. Aha! we said - time to read The Adventures of Robin Hood!

He couldn't get enough, so this past weekend, we took our son to the Washington Renaissance Fantasy Faire in Gig Harbor, WA. We figured he'd get a kick out of it, but man! Did we ever underestimate! He had an absolute blast; he got a chance to fence and to shoot a bow and arrow, and he thought the jousting was thrilling. Out of the many things he saw and wanted to buy, he eventually settled on a set of plastic armor - he's been playing knight ever since. And I know I'm probably rushing things, but I can't help it - today I went and bought Treasure Island - with the Wyeth illustrations...

We'll be going to the beach again soon - now I want to see if I can't find some more plastic knights. How can you have a good castle siege with only six per side, I ask? Feh. No way. And catapults. We're gonna need siege engines. Or maybe some pirates instead... Yeah, that's it... Some French & Indian War-era soldiers to be the forces of 'good', and we're the merest of steps away from building ourselves a jungle stockade and the Hispaniola out of seaweed and driftwood...

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