When my son was nine we went to one of my company’s annual picnics. They always went all out for this event, making it a fabulous day for adults and children alike. One of the features of this picnic was the carnival type games for the children (while their parents enjoyed the pub-like games closer to the kegs…but this is not about the adult games!)
My son, always a very quiet and timid child, somehow (and I do not know how), won himself a prize. His prize was a rather LARGE Tigger. Now, my son might have been quiet and timid, but at nine years old, he was quickly making his way through all of Steinbeck’s novels, and was not a “childish” boy.
I chuckled when I saw him with his prize and as he returned to the blanket on which I sat with some friends. He bore a grin that lightened his freckled face. We laughed as he told us how he had won the game that earned him this prize. But, I figured his thrill was in the winning, not in the prize itself.
So, when my boss’ son, age three spied that Tigger and made it clear that he would very much LOVE to have it, I suggested to Stephen that he might consider giving it to the child. I could not have been more surprised when my son looked up at me, with just a bit of defiance, and told me in no uncertain terms, that he wanted to keep Tigger. He had always been a very sharing kid, so this was out of character for him.
Later, in the car on the way home, I asked him if he was going to play with Tigger. His answer. ”No Mom, I’m going to save it for when I have a little boy.”
Tigger did not survive the several moves my son has made since that day when he was nine, and, to be honest, I do not know whether he even recalls that day or his thoughts. But, I thought it was interesting that, at least for that time, he was thinking that one day he was going to be able to give his son a prize he had won at the company picnic.