Max got a couple Bionicles for his birthday. When Tre was a little younger he was obsessed with Bionicles (remember, for Tre there is no mere “interest”). During his Bionicle phase, he collected at least a dozen of them, and assembled, tore apart, and reassembled them daily. However, in time other MOST IMPORTANT THINGS EVER took over, and the Bionicles were forgotten. They sat in a tangle in a blue box next to his bed.
Max’s new Bionicles reminded Tre of his, and he pulled them out again. This has given rise to the new era of the Bionicle, the dawning of a new and explosion-filled day. The drama is high in our house.
Starting first thing this morning, Tre and Max ranged all over the house, Bionicles clutched tightly, narrating an endless adventure.
“Hey,” Max said, causing his white Toa Nuva to jump down two stairs at a time, “pretend I have a laser? Right here? And it makes things melt into hot lava.”
“Ok,” replied Tre, “but my guy? Has this shield? And he can use it to surf on hot lava.”
And so the day went, with them alternating between pretending the most dangerous scenarios they could imagine, and then coming up with the best pretend protection. Sometimes Raphael joined them. He’d wheedle a spare Bionicle out of one of them, and follow them around, randomly bashing things with his guy. Eventually he got annoyed enough at his brothers’ elaborate pretending that he would slug one of them, and get sent to time out.
This left Tre and Max, spinning their tales of destruction and conquering power. They were so wrapped up in their world that they would actually argue over things that only existed in their words.
“NO,” Tre insisted, “YOU can’t fly; because MY guy can fly and we both can’t fly.”
“But I SAID I could fly back there, before we left the island.”
“Oh yeah? Well, I HIT your guy with my magic sword, and now he can’t even WALK.”
I waited for the squabble to come to me, but it rarely did. This was a good thing, because what would I say? Tre, stop pretending to take imaginary powers away or I’ll pretend to send you to your room?
For the most part, however, they played together happily. For hours. Raphael dipped in and out of the game often enough that by bedtime he was so tired that he actually fell asleep on his pillow. With his covers still draped over him. That NEVER happens. And Tre and Max cooperated for most of the day like champs.
As I thought about what I wanted to write about tonight, the picture of them, sitting in the back yard, their brown heads bent toward each other, telling their sides of their story, kept coming back to me. I wanted to tell you about them, but to what end?
What’s the point, I asked myself? What’s the meaning of the thing?
I thought about it awhile and decided it was just this:
I wanted to remember my boys, meandering through a world of their own making. I didn’t want to lose it.