Saturday, December 5, 2015


The other morning, for fun, I asked L what cool meant.  He said "smart".  That made me happy, and all at once I recalled a memory I had forgotten about for years.
The summer after fourth grade, we moved.  I started fifth grade in a new school and it took a while to settle in with new friends.

The first classmate's birthday I was invited to was a big deal. A few days before the party I asked my dad to pick up the gift for her while he was out: a troll (duh!)  

Our new town was small and rural.  Too small for a toy store or a Target... not even a kmart or a dollar store for two hours in any direction.  He checked the grocery store and came back empty-handed.  What do you buy for a friend's birthday present when there aren't troll dolls?  I couldn't imagine.

It was unacceptable.  It had to be a troll.  He eventually found an off-brand, too-big doll in a tourtisty gift shop, and I was so relieved!  A generic troll was better than no troll.  I wrapped it up and the crisis was averted.

It was only later, on the way to the party, that I started having doubts.  What if kids here didn't collect trolls and make troll clothes for them?  How could they, if there weren't any within a 90-mile radius?!  What if trolls weren't cool!!? Especially this designer imposter!  

I wanted to turn around and skip the party.  We didn't find her house right away, and I still remember the dread in my stomach.  I wanted to tell my dad to forget the whole thing, but how could I explain it?  I had been so excited.  If I opened my mouth I was going to start crying.  He eventually found her house and luckily she must have liked it, or had enough manners to pretend she did, because I don't remember anything else about that day.
I've been thinking quite a bit about that old story over the last few days.  That was one of my first moments of self-doubt and I was nine.  Nine!  I always think of M as oblivious and blissfully unaware, but he's only 7!  How could I have forgotten?

Nine.  I only hope my kids can hold out that long, and keep thinking cool means smart.

In a wonderful twist of serendipity, this morning L asked me if we could make clothes for his "Bunny Bob".  We did.  Crappy, ill-fitting clothes just like my sister and I used to make for our trolls.

And then he made him shoes out of a gingerbread cookie box.

He is so smart.
He is so cool.

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