I asked Lenin to bring his toys in, since I can't lend him the radio-controlled race car given to me by the Favorite Aunt. My nephew obliged, and he tossed the plastic interchangeable tracks on the carpet so a road layout for his die-cast toy cars could be laid. What took me by surprise was the way my plan backfired. You see, Lenin was in my room because my mom went to school. She asked me to look after my nephew while the maid assisted her to the car. I was writing for the raket at that time and could not be bothered. To comply with the matriarch's instruction, I flung open the door, and told the tyke to stay with me.
And now, he wants me to assemble a highway.
If there are objects you should never let me get my hands on, they are the track pieces and building blocks, which by instinct, draw me to create symmetrical, imaginary neighborhoods. And like solving a 3-dimensional puzzle, I began connecting the road pieces while my nephew looked across, studying, how I attempted to make inclined road sections to my dismay. There were missing pieces, but it didn't stop me from creating a circuit. I told my nephew to bring more cars so he could simulate a traffic jam when his highway is completed.
He left the room just when my activity stirred a dormant memory.
A long time ago, a relative from abroad bought me a Matchbox Motorcity road set. The playstuff had tracks I can interchange to create different road layouts. It was a prized possession when I was a kid. To this day, I kept it, and not a single tiny piece had gone missing since assembling the set for the first time.
There are times I wonder if I would let my nephews get hold of my toys. Will they take good care of them? Will they still be in good condition when my grandchildren are born? No matter how tempted I am to bequeath my possessions - so the boys at home can enjoy them while they are still young, I feel my toys won't get appreciated the way I did. In fact, not a year would pass and they would most likely be broken.
For I was already in Grade Three when I finally learned to take care of my stuff. I arranged my toy cars in a box, kept the accessories in a corner, and played, without ever making my die casts go on collision like the ones I saw on television. I had a good two years exhausting my imagination before another pursuit took my attention. When I've outgrown my Matchboxes, they were tucked deep within my room.
Where not even my nephews could reach them.
"There is still time." I insist, when get confronted by these guilt-laden questions. "My nephews will receive many more die cast cars - many of them, they will hardly remember when the time comes to dream of leaving home."
In the meantime, I have completed Lenin's highway shortly before he returned.