My Mom made an interesting comment to me yesterday. We had a small spaghetti
get-together at our place. It was super fun and the food was good and even
though we technically couldn’t fit everyone in the house, we made it work. My
sister who is different from most folks tends to float in between the world of grownups
and the world of the kids. On one hand she catches the bus to her job three
days a week at McDonald’s and on the other she is pretty content to run around
the yard with my six year old and every stuffed animal in the house on most
days. She will play with him for long stretches of time. She really likes my
friend’s daughter who is like nine. They fight sometimes and we think it is
because they are about the same developmental age. My Mom was watching my sister and my son out in the yard yesterday when she said, “Robin is like Puff.” I knew exactly what
she meant. My sister is just like Puff the Magic Dragon.
If you don’t know the story of Puff the Magic Dragon, according to
The lyrics tell a story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie
Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures
of childhood and leaves Puff alone and depressed.
Joe has a book of Puff and it made my son cry. The story is a tear jerker but the book shows what looks like Jackie Paper’s daughter showing up again at some point near the end after Jackie has abandoned him. Literary license. Don’t love it.
My sister has been Puff for her entire life. She has seen generations of kids who she would play with for a while grow up and well, grow up. And she just doesn’t. I go back and forth
between thinking that her playing with my son is a good thing and a bad thing
for her. He loves it. His very active imagination includes lots of role playing
with his stuffed animals. Sometimes they are being pushed around the yard in
the cardboard box I have been trying to throw out for a week and sometimes they
are tied to a tree. Their popularity waxes and wanes but he loves them all. He
has corralled my sister into getting her collection out and they trade and have
sleepovers. He will have pink panther and Brian for the night and she will have
Rudy and Barney. But all of this will end in a couple of short months. I am
already thinking of mailing things back to HI and making plans for what I will
do when I return. We will pack all of the stuffed animals and go and leave my
sister behind. She will still work three days a week but for the rest of the
time she will mostly be on her own. I also know that even if we were to stay,
my son would eventually leave her behind as well. All we can do is to continue bringing
the next generation by to play; for my own personal Puff. Literary
license I can live with.