When she was a little girl, Cherie wanted a train set. As was a somewhat reoccurring theme, Cherie seemed to always want what she was told by her parents that she could not have. And as was also reoccurring, Cherie's parents gave it to her.
My wife seems to have retained every possession that she ever had as a child, hidden in the back of a little-used closet, slipped under the bed in a guest room, nestled in a pile of my things that are gathering dust. And then, when the mood assaults her, these parentally forbidden objects appear in our home, like inanimate shades from the 'fifties, wrinkled, dented, rusty, missing a part or a piece, batteries not included, and all, of course, made in America.
I share none of these burdens with my wife. Because of my gender and transitory upbringing, my oldest possession barely predates our marriage. It is difficult to be nostalgic with a copper pot that you have had for a mere 25 years, and that is in the same condition as it was when new.
So I indulge my wife. Not true. I suppose I envy her. Things came much easier for her, but she has not lost the appreciation of a gift well earned, a forbidden treat surprisingly granted, a small thing made large by time and the memory of Christmas and family and the love of others now gone.