If you were asked to measure a person’ geekiness on a scale, what criteria would you use? How much Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia adorned their walls? How many times they had attended an official Star Trek convention – – in costume? How much money they had spent on comic books in their lifetime? Maybe those would be benchmarks from my generation, but I realized that the times – – they are a changin’.
Yesterday was H-T’s 12th birthday, and no one in the universe could have been more excited about surviving yet another year than H-T. Besides consistently shouting out “Tomorrow is my birthday!” at least 141 times on Wednesday (including one time I overheard outside the men’s restroom at Taco Bell), he also woke up at 6:00 yesterday morning loudly reminding me, in case I had forgotten the 31 hours of labor it took to wrench him out into the world 12 years ago, that today was the day!
You’re probably thinking that he must have had some incredible party plans to get him so psyched over this particular birthday, but that would mean you don’t know my H-T well enough yet. Nope, there is no big party planned, no clowns, no bowling outing, not even a piñata. The thing that had H-T up with the roosters, with saliva dripping down his chin? A $100 Star Wars M.T.T. Lego Set. Yep…building blocks. Thousands of them. Took him two hours yesterday morning just to separate them into color piles (and that wasn’t even his OCD kicking in…the instruction book actually advised this – – FYI).
At 11:30, he reluctantly left these blocks of bliss, and only for a couple of hours, so that he might partake of a secondary obsession – – video games. No birthday for either of my children feels complete without two uninterrupted hours of game time at Virtual Ambush, a gaming parlor with 25-30 big screen TV’s with various gaming systems hooked to them with kids & teens of various ages playing various games at various volumes. In other words – – kid Nirvana.
We left Nirvana and headed back home, making one more stop along the way – – a trip to the movie store, where H-T was allowed to pick out whatever Sci-Fi flick flipped his fancy. Once home, he gleefully spent the afternoon and evening watching aliens destroy the world as he built the Lego spaceship that will finally rid the universe of any such threats in the future.
Bedtime for H-T came grudgingly, but peacefully, with various b-day presents laid carefully out on his bedside table – – his Spiderman graphic novel, his Alien vs Predator action figures, and his Anakin Skywalker light saber.
As his eyes closed softly, I leaned against his door and thought back to that incredible, joyous morning 12 years ago, and the promise that his life held. Little could I have known then that I was raising a new species…ushering in a new era…a whole new generation of geekdom. Kinda chokes you up, doesn’t it?