Do You See What I See?

The black tires lean lazily against the rusted chain link fence in our back yard. Only Heaven knows how long they have been there, but to my son, Dillon, they are a new-found treasure. Since the mountain of snow that took up residence in our back yard this winter melted, the pile of assorted odds and ends piled up against the fence behind my husband’s garage has started to take form again, waiting for someone to claim its usefulness. “Mom, come here and look!” Dillon shouts excitedly. “These are the same tires they use on monster trucks!”
Ever since he could hold the 1:43 scale monster trucks in his hand and motor them across the floor, Dillon has lived the life of a monster truck driver. Oftentimes, he is the monster truck itself, emitting guttural engine sounds from deep within well into the night, not ready to part from his beloved fantasy long enough to sleep. “See how black they are? And the shiny rims? These are just like the ones they use,” he informs me with that deep vocal connotation he possesses when he speaks of a subject he knows well. He proceeds to climb on top and wave to the crowd, much like the real drivers do at the events our family has been able to attend. Satisfied with the crowd’s applause, he dismounts and lumbers over to his black Tonka truck, the plastic one that he’s had since he was two. His brown leather cowboy boots can be seen from beneath, powering the truck across the yard and over to the tires.
It is evident to me that these particular treasures came off of my husband’s beloved ’63 Thunderbird. They are your average 15 inch tire, complete with red dice plugging the air valve stems. But to Dillon’s six-year-old imagination, they are six feet tall and at this particular moment, needed for the gigantic monster machine that has flipped over in our back yard. He hurriedly throws them into the back of his truck and shuttles them to the scene of the wreck, where they will be attached to Grave Digger so that he can finish the race in time. Tomorrow, they will be used for something else, much like the empty boxes that fill his room, lying in wait for his next adventure.

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