Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Keeper

When I was in second grade we were living in a student housing apartment in St. Paul while my father finished seminary.  We were on the first floor of our building and just down the hall lived my friend Bethany. She had beautifully styled 80s hair that her mother always curled and she had super nice clothes...or at least that was my interpretation. I felt like she was rich, but in hindsight we were all living in student housing, so she probably wasn't rich.

Somehow though Bethany often had the hottest new toys. She was super generous and would let me play with or even borrow her toys on on occasion. One particular toy that caught my eye was this creamy white swan with long pink locks. The wings folded on her back and had a keyhole. There was a matching pink key and brush, because you know you had to brush that pink swan hair. Anyway,  when you would insert the key the wings unlocked and it would open to reveal a small compartment in which a child could stash their treasures. I loooved this swan! 

I has started saving up for the swan, but Bethany allowed me to borrow it one night or week or whatever. I played with her swan, imagining what it would be like when I too had this magical swan for my own. Then I broke it. I am not certain what I did, something with the key and the wings. Anyway it was broken beyond repair.

I confessed to my parents and in their wisdom they made me use the money I had been saving to pay for a replacement. I understood the lesson even then and it has stuck with me since, but I never did get that swan. 

Fast forward decades to last night at 2am. I had gotten up to help Elise who had a leg cramp and I was trying to stay awake for just a bit to make sure she was back to sleep. Nothing is worse than falling back to sleep and being immediately awakened by a child who just needed something more. Anyway, I was pretty much asleep, so I tried to read an article to stay awake as I was pretty sure I would have to get back up. I opened some nonsense article about 80s toys and there was a long list of 80s toys, but one picture of a snail with a key looked like the same style as the much desired swan. The brand was Keepers. I did a quick search for Keeper Swan and there she was...

I remember how she felt in my seven year old hands, tracing the stamped hearts on her white chest with my fingers, even the smell of plastic. Incidentally I believe this is the point in time when I became obsessed with the idea of riding on the back of a giant swan or duck...something I still daydream about to this day.

So there is not really a point to this story, but there it is.

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