The last I knew, he was playing *Treasure Planet* with a merrily diverse (yet politically incorrect) set of action figures. All of varying heights and ages and limbs, this group of action figures was as motley as it gets. A washed-up G.I. Joe (the colour of his pants is now smudged up into his gun belt, which is what happens if your clothing is made of hard plastic and you've been roughed up since the mid-1980s), Evil Peter Pan, capeless and left-handless Darth Vader, an upper-jawless Lego dragon, and I swear I even saw a sparkly My Little Pony with tangles for curls amongst the heathen freaks. The Harvey Dents of toys.
Anyway, I was about to go check on this J of mine when he came prancing, all obnoxiously shy, into the kitchen and told me to follow him. Now. Doesn't matter if the food burns, Mom. When you're 7, the entire universe can wait if you so demand. He took me by the hand and made me close my eyes. I always manage to trip or stub my toe when he does this. And I don't cheat. I will not open my eyes. If we're going to play the game, we're going to do it right! He led me to his room and told me I could look now. His room was immaculate! He had even set up some of his stuffed animals (his "babies") in poses, holding small books, perched on shelves, etc.
Then tonight, after reading about the now much older Little Critters, and while tucking him in, I told him thanks again for the clean room. You done well, Kid. He responded with, "That's what Kids do. They like to prouden up their moms."
(image by Daniel Cheung via Unsplash.)