We moved into our house when Sunny, who is seven—“and a half, Mom!”— was still being toted around in her pumpkin seat.
Unless this is the first post you’ve read around here, it should come as no surprise that we aren’t quite unpacked, yet. We’re so used to that stack of boxes in the corner of the dining room that they’ve effectively become an extension of the sideboard, and don’t get me started on the garage, because if I complain, I might be forced to do something about it, and I don’t want to.
The kids view the garage boxes as challenges on their personal game show Awesome or Junk? in which the contestants unpack cartons with energetic abandon, scattering the packing materials for extra points, before picking over the contents for things to add to their personal hoards, and abandoning the mess for the stagehands to clean up.
I don’t like that show very much, even when nothing else is on.
But this weekend, Jane—who has just reached the Fantasy Novels Are All That stage in her development—noticed one of the boxes out there had the word DRAGONS written on it.
“Like, dragon dragons?” she asked, her eyes shining.
“Figurines,” I said. “Little statues and things. And some other stuff. I used to collect them.”
“COOL. Can we open it?”
“I’m not sure—”
“Please, Mommy?” Sunny said. “I want to see the dragons, too!”
“But they’re safe where they are,” I said, “and I don’t really want to repack every—”
“Did you know,” Jane said, “there’s a set of dragon statues in the museum gift shop? They’re so, so awesome.”
“That’s nice, but—“
“The big one is like a hundred and twenty dollars, but the small one is only eighty. I thought maybe for my birthday?”
“Go get the box.”
If there is any doubt that dragons are magical creatures, please consider that a single average-sized book carton produced twenty-four of them.
There were elegant dragons:
Metal dragons (and one fabric art dragon, a cute clay one, and an elephant):
A shelf dragon:
Two badly photographed wearable dragonistas (the fur one is a puppet with a remote controlled head):
Aaaaand two wooden dragons—one flat Celtic brooch and a winged South American winged one meant to hang over a cradle to give the baby nightmares protect the baby against evil spirits—that I forgot to photograph this morning when I realized I needed a blog post.
But that’s not all.
In that same box, we found:
Two cats from Peru and Japan:
Some old writing buddies:
A grumpy-faced composer:
Because gnomes have happened to me all my life, that’s why.
There were also a frog, a turtle, and a lion carved out of tiger’s eye that I couldn’t photograph well enough to share. And, of course, that metal elephant bank up there somewhere that was part, I believe, of my christening set.
It must have been magic, because I don’t remember fitting it all in there—or being such an efficient packer.
We really need to save that box . . .
After I told the kids the stories behind each one—I won’t bore you, unless asked—we divvied up the spoils and distributed the prizes around the house, as artistically as possible.
I guess Awesome or Junk? isn’t that bad a game after all.
But don’t tell the kids about the other DRAGON box I stashed around somewhere.
It’s getting crowded around here.