Last but never least.
Time flies when you're busy trying to catch up with your older brothers. Wednesday, April 19th brings an end to the birthday marathon at Half House as Wilder turns 12. I do remember sitting in the obligatory wheelchair holding him in the hospital room while Mr. Half ran down to bring the car around, leaving Moe and Curly--wearing their "I'm the Big Brother" t-shirts-- in the room with me to run around in circles until they fell down. For a brief moment I thought to myself, "What in the name of all that is holy have I gotten myself into now?" Then the moment passed and we brought Wilder home. We haven't regretted a moment of it since. He shares qualities with each of his brothers and, like both of them, he loves books. So far, he still wants to hug and kiss us both goodnight. Every night. I'm in no hurry for that to go away...trust me on that.
He's also the kid with whom I've been able to share my retro love of Wacky Packages. Back in the day, Mad Magazine illustrators were instrumental in designing some of the first Wacky Package cards (Crust Toothpaste, Crakola Crayons, Liptorn Soup) and when they started reissuing new designs a couple of years ago, I was doing cartwheels of joy. The only dark moment was when I realized that my early collection from the '70's had gone the way of other childhood things I didn't think I'd need later on in life. That's right, internet. Just like my gumwrapper chain, my elephant tail bracelet from Africa and my German Club t-shirt from high school...they were thrown away. I blame myself.
**Pause here for a moment of reflective silence**
I wish I had those Wacky Pack stickers now. I've started Wilder's collection and he's mostly on board with it, though I think I'm the person who gets the most out of it. No way will I let him throw these things out when he gets older. You never know when he'll come looking for them again. So what did you have as a kid that you threw out or gave away and now wish that you hadn't?