"The mini monsters are a team of three spies who are no bigger than my little pinky finger. The first monster’s name is Go-Go. He is funny and smart. He knows that 2 X 2 is 4. He goes to school and says “it’s so much fun!”
We were at my parents for Dad’s birthday last weekend. The grandkids were unusually occupied for a gathering at my parents. They simply weren’t around. I opened the door to the garage and heard voices coming from the upstairs room my Dad built when I was a kid. It’s been a place where my father cuts hair and carves wood, but in the olden days it was an official neighborhood clubhouse with furniture, a small kitchen and cubby holes to put stuff in. For admission to the clubhouse you had to fulfill a set of requirements. Since I was the oldest sibling, it meant that my friends were all “in” and my sisters were officially “out” of the club. We made signs that declared who was in and who was out. These were posted carefully on the walls for all to see. We had secret passwords for entrance and secret meetings, much in the genre of “My Gang.” If there were any mean teenagers in the neighborhood and there were a few; they were officially declared to be “out” of the clubhouse. You can still see evidence on the wallpaper in the clubhouse of our time there.
And so history and imagination took over once again, 35 years later. As I listened to the thuds of the feet upstairs in the old clubhouse, I knew that some things just capture the imagination of a child in ways adults can hardly remember. Except this time it was the younger kids (the mini monsters) who had commandeered the clubhouse. In a twist of irony and revenge, the children of my younger siblings and my youngest daughter reclaimed their birth right, complete with home made signs that declared who was “in” and who was “out”. Their first official act after making their home made signs was to clean up the place and make a little couch out the cushions that were in storage in the cubby spaces. If you were a teenager in this family, it was clear you were not welcome. Well, some things never change.
The imagination of a child is untainted in their ability to believe or see things that adults lost long ago and far away. In thinking about what it is that attracts kids to cubby holes and upstairs rooms where their imagination and creativity unwinds, I am comforted by the fact that some things might just be generational, and that eventually the mini monsters will prevail.
Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and a biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web at www.familyfare.blogspot.com