My family can be so cool. Here I am, ten days away from turning 41, and my birthday present from Mom and Dad included a copy of a vinyl record of J.R.R. Tolkien reading poems from Middle Earth (purchased from a library sale when my elementary school–the same that she also had attended, and that her father had attended all the way through high school–recently was torn down in preparation for construction of a new one; I’d checked out that very album more than once back in 6th and 7th grades) and the Warriors Fortress set from the MegaBloks Dragon series (similar to the dozens of Lego castle sets I already owned).
My youngest nephew always asks me to play with him and his army and wrestling men, or on the Playstation; my family expressed amazement that he–a nine-year-old–and I were able to discuss comic books and cartoons non-stop for a couple of hours when I arrived there last Friday. He’d also been playing an old Sega Shadowrun game of mine that I’d given them years ago; when I described to him the pen-and-pencil Shadowrun RPG I used to play, he started creating character concepts and asked me to bring in the books and my dice the next time I come home. He’s a cool kid.
It’s amusing: when I was a teenager, I used to bemoan that my birthday and Christmas gifts were mostly practical rather than “fun,” consisting almost entirely of clothing and money by then (not that I didn’t appreciate either). Now that I’ve reached middle age, though, gifts from the family more and more include the impractical and unserious. Who knew getting older could be so much more fun?