‘ve mentioned before how all of my childhood toys are squirreled away in our attic. My kids, Episode V in particular, are very well aware of the treasures that lay hidden up there. Whenever we have occasion to go up in the attic my son stands at the bottom of the ladder and stares up into what I imagine in his mind has to be Valhalla, The Promised Land, The Land Of Milk And Honey. He knows that every once in a while his DorkDaddy will come down with a rare and priceless artifact, resurrected from the distant past and delivered into the eager arms of a little boy in today’s world.
(Pixar, are you listening? “Toy Story 4” should be about the day that Andy pulls all his old toys down from the attic and gives them to his son)
And on the rarest occasion, every blue moon, I have allowed Episode V to climb up the stairway to heaven and poke his head through while I dug around up there for one knick-knack or another. You see, my son has seen The Promised Land. He knows exactly where it is (above our garage), and he will do anything to get there. So it was this morning.
Tonight is the homecoming football game for my high school 20th reunion. I’m going to bring Episode IV and V and we’re going to get dressed up in whatever high school gear I can dig up. (Yes, I still fit in my letterman’s jacket. Don’t ask me if I can button it up in front. I don’t know and I’m not even going to try.) I went up to the attic to find some of my old jerseys for the kids to wear and for the first time I let Episode V come all the way up into the attic with me. He sat there totally rapt, spellbound, completely stunned and unable to absorb the magnificence that lay before him (thankfully he didn’t notice the Xmas presents hiding in the corner just out of sight).
You see, in the attic are all the collectables I have managed to save over the better part of four decades. There are literally thousands of comic books, all bagged and boarded, neatly packed away in boxes and just waiting to be read when the next generation is old enough to appreciate them. There are autographed pictures of the superheroes of yesteryear (Adam West, Burt Ward, Mark Hamill, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels…). There are tubs filled to the brim with mint-condition, carded Star Wars action figures from 15 years ago, and a mountain of well-loved, well-worn Star Wars action figures from 15 years before those. There are movie posters, baseball cards, puzzles, boardgames, models, spaceships, playsets, books…
In all honesty I struggle with when (*IF*) I’m going to bestow all these treasures on my progeny. Someday I know I’ll use much of it to decorate Episode VI’s Star Wars themed bedroom – whenever we can scrounge up enough money to add a bedroom onto the house. The rest will have to wait until my kids are old enough to appreciate all those treasures for what they are and take care of them appropriately.
But today at least, when I was up there with my 4-year-old boy, watching him sit there mouth agape, eyes blinded and watering from the pure brilliance of it all as if he was staring into the sun itself, I had to smile. Where my wife sees our attic as something out of an episode of “hoarders”, and I see it as an extension of the Smithsonain Natural History museum, I imagine Episode V sees it as something akin to the final scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” – a warehouse filled with the world’s most precious and valuable treasures beyond the comprehension, completely overlooked by the rest of the world, the contents of which are only known to an elite few and accessible to even fewer. Indiana Jones didn’t know it way back in 1981, but he would return to that warehouse in 2008 for the opening scene of his 4th movie, just as someday my son will return to the attic above our garage to claim its riches for his own.