I have been doing some retirement planning and analyzing my prospectus. I am heretofore preparing for my childhood. I made this important decision yesterday.
I was at a yard sale with my son and I spotted a small Fisher Price piano that plays three nursery songs: The Muffin Man, This Old Man, and Pop Goes the Weasel. I began to plink on the keys, remembering such a toy that I owned as a child. I bought it for fifty cents and went on my way.
As my son began to plink upon it in the car, I told him, “I have made an important decision. I am going to start saving for my childhood. I want to design a secret garden in my yard and store up a treasure of toys for when I am a child.”
I have been thinking a great deal about this. I want the wind-up red clock that plays Hickory-Dickory Dock. And the dome-covered popcorn popper thing with a handle that pops colorful plastic balls as you push it around the room. And the wooden inchworm on a string that bobs up and down as you pull it. And the spinning top that has spirals and balls inside and you churn it up and watch it. I am still scared of the Jack-in-the-Box, so I’ll pass on that one. How I wish I could find the battery-operated puffin with spinning striped feet and light-up eyes- it gurgles as it moves.
In my yard, I want zillions of bird feeders and iridescent glass marbles on twisted stems and miniature animals and birds and a wheelbarrow full of flowers that will change according to the seasons- and most of all, silly cliché metal signs of frogs with fishing poles and overalls who croak “Welcome to My Pad.”
From the garage, I will dig out all of the stuffed animals my sons played with when they were young: Oakley the Snowy Owl, Camilla the green and white duck who flew in one Easter, Corny the sentimental Scarecrow, the plush armadillos and possums and foxes. They shall all be my friends.
I plan to scamper around all day in my nightgown and bedroom slippers playing and pretending with my toys, and I will bring my walking stick with me to my secret garden in case I should stumble.
I plan to start my childhood early in preparation for the eternal one to come. All I ask of you is that you send my toy box with me to the nursing home. As I rest my head upon my pillow, I will practice saying the poem “The Green Moth” by Winifred Welles- the one my son used to recite to me.
The night the green moth came for me,
A creamy moon poured down the hill,
The meadow seemed a silver sea,
Small pearls hung in every tree,
And all so still, so still.
He floated in on my white bed,
A strange and soundless fellow.
I saw the horns wave on his head,
He stepped across my pillow
In tiny ermine boots, and spread
His cape of green and yellow.
He came so close that I could see
His golden eyes, and sweet and chill,
His faint breath wavered over me,
“Come child, my beautiful”, said he,
And all so still, so still.
Poem from “Skipping Along Alone” Copyright, 1931, Macmillan Publishing