Every year, without fail, the story gets told about how, when I was five or six, I asked for “fiwa engine wegos,” for Christmas and the inevitable meltdown on Christmas morning when I discovered that Santa had not brought me the little red fire station with two little fire trucks. I remember vividly, sitting on the coach, slumped, next to my mom, crying as I stared at the Christmas tree (oh, the drama). Obviously, it was an upsetting moment for my parents, as well, who had always done absolutely everything they could to make sure Christmas was always special for each of us. (To this day, I wonder just how they managed to get all those presents, wrap them and get them under the tree for six kids, every year…it truly amazes me.) The day after Christmas, my hero parents miraculously ran into Santa and he gave them one present he had forgotten to give me and all was right in my little world again. To this day, however, I still feel a twinge of guilt over the whole thing.
I still love LEGO’s and I have a collection that dramatically outweighs my kids collection. I even went as far as finding that old fire station set from my childhood on eBay (my original set was absorbed into the huge collection of LEGOs my brothers and I had). And, every Christmas, I set up a small LEGO city with a LEGO train by the Christmas tree. I always set up that little red fire station as a reminder of how special my parents always made Christmas when I was a kid…a reminder of the sacrifices they made. Of course, Christmas, for children, is all about the presents and my parents always made that happen, but they also taught me that, to borrow from the good Dr. Seuss, “Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.”
Since Benjamin was born, the little city went up on the fireplace mantle. This is the first year since the boys have been around that I set it up under the tree. Well, as you might expect, the boys gravitated to it and, in great wonder, played with all the little people, cars and building, much like a tornado might. Matthew, particularly, really became enamored with the setup and really seemed to fall in love with the two fire stations (included in the city is also a much more dramatic fire station). Between the anxiety attacks of them destroying “my toys”, my heart melted as Matthew played so sweetly with the fire engines, running them in and out of the station doors and creating emergency situations that the fire engines had to rush off to. In particularly, I was almost moved to tears as his little hands played with the little red station from my childhood with such a sweet smile on his face.
…Until he turned to me and said, “I want fiwa engine wegos for mitmis.” We are already done shopping for them and fire engine LEGO’s are not among the gifts. More proof that God does have a sense of humor.
P.S. Thankfully, my mom has once again taken care of the problem, and “fiwa engine wegos” are on their way.