Friday, March 31, 2017
Andrew is into cars right now. We stand atop our hill and watch them drive by on the two streets that meet below. We wave at the mail truck each afternoon. I push him in his little red car. And he plays with Jack's Hot Wheels.
Rather than remind me of Baby Jack the way the Thomas trains do, Hot Wheels remind me of the last weeks I spent with Jack on earth. A smooth, tanned neck, a freckled nose, arms getting strong from push-ups, busy hands. A boy not yet a teen, but already getting phone calls from girls on the house phone, if that's not the cutest thing you've ever heard.
Hot Wheels are not a big kid's toy, so why did they make a resurgence at our house that summer, after years of collecting dust? Jack made up a game to play with Hot Wheels, and he, his friend Joe, and Margaret spent a lot of time rooting through the big orange bin in the basement, choosing the best cars for the game. The week before school started, on a failed excursion to replace a missing Latin/English dictionary, I treated Jack to a few new cars at Walmart. Another one, which he'd ordered online, came after he died. We gave it to Joe.
I don't know how long Andrew's passion for cars will last; I secretly hope it morphs into trains at some point so he can Jack's trains as well.
When babies turn one, as Andrew will on Monday, they don't need a lot of gifts. His gift from us is a 20-pack of Hot Wheels cars. They will go into the big orange bin, Andrew's first toys mingling with Jack's last.