Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Magic Time

The letter reads:
Dear Santa. I need some advice for how to make Pokemon real. Why do I need some advice because I can not get Pokemon out of my mind. I need a very good answer. If you have a answer please send a messag back
From Kinnell
Kinnell is eight years old. He wrote to Mister Claus in anticipation  of his eighth birthday, even though his timing may be a little off. He really wants a Pokemon for his upcoming birthday. It makes some sense, however, when you consider the demands on the toy-making machine at the North Pole at this time of year are probably pretty low. With all those elves rattling around the factory and wrapping facilities, there must be plenty of available alt-manpower available before the real crush begins in another seven or eight months.
And who else could get to the bottom of that whole real versus pretend thing than Santa? The guy who has a team of eight tiny reindeer that fly? The guy who manages to slide down people's chimneys in spite of the fact that he is generally considered to be, shall we say, weight advantaged? The guy who manages to haul all those toys and goodies across the globe in the span of one night? Isn't this the guy who could make anyone's dreams come true?
Then there's the question of obsession. While I can appreciate young Kinnell's honesty, I do wonder if all this confession is truly good for his soul. He's eight. Of course he can't get Pokemon out of his head. It's a head that is not as yet cluttered by Social Security numbers and passwords to dating websites. It is kind of a shame that Kinnell can't rejoice in the fact that his mind is full of Pokemon. There are seven hundred eighteen known species of these pocket monsters, and eight years old is far too young to start wondering whether he should be ashamed of the idea of "Pocket Monsters." When I had an eight year old, he could not get trains out of his head. We tried everything, including making as many connections with real trains, and yet he remained transfixed.
Then one day, we weren't laying track in our living room anymore. All the engines and rolling stock were boxed up and put away. We were able to drive past railroad crossings without having to wait breathlessly for the next train to pass by. Eight years old is a magic time, and I hope Kinnell gets to enjoy it along with his parents as long as he can.

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