Monday, December 18, 2006

Casino Royale

A view from the Eye in the Sky

It was a busy week last week here at Casa Bradstein: I was stumbling in and out, going to work and coming home to collapse; Mama was tearing up the keyboard shopping; and 3B was teething and learning to walk before he knows how to crawl. Seriously, what is this kid's deal?

Does he think that the end of the year is some sort of deadline, by which he's supposed to have reached as many milestones as possible? It's not that I want to delay his development, but how many teeth do you need for rice cereal--or for most American food, for that matter?

But I digress . . .

3B was also busy all last week with his latest developmental aid, toy, diversion, ADHD inducement--his personal Casino Royale, the exersaucer. It's a bit early for a Christakwanzukkah gift, but it's in the family tradition of James Bond distractions before the holidays.

Dad loved Ian Fleming's James Bond books so every year that a new one came out--typically right before Christmas, I believe--Mom would buy it for him. Every year, being the nice person she was, Mom would make the same mistake and give it to him on Christmas Eve. Dad would then spend the rest of the evening reading the whole book while Mom helped Santa's elves wrap gifts for all six of us.

About when I was in junior high, I discovered the cache of Bond books at the back of the top bookshelf in the room we somewhat ironically dubbed "The Conservatory" in our Eichler tract house. I too was hooked. I blazed through all of them in a week or so, then moved on to the new Bond books, penned by John Gardner, which I tore through as they came out. Much as Dad had fallen in love with Aston Martins by reading Fleming's Bond, I fell more deeply in love with SAABs as a result of reading Gardner's Bond.

Just before I got into Bond, our new neighbor across the street had bought a SAAB 900 Turbo, and took me for a drive in it. Along with my left-handedness, I inherited an abiding interest in cars from my father, so when our neighbor took me for a drive in his SAAB and opened up the turbo a few times to show me how it did really push you back into the perfectly contoured seats, it had the same effect on me as giving Imelda Marcos a platinum Nordstrom card.

So I was fully versed in the capabilities of a regular SAAB 900 Turbo when I read about Q taking Gardner's Bond through all of the added features of his special edition SAAB, and I drank it all in. Right up until GM bought SAAB and started turning out Saturns with SAAB nameplates, it was my dream to someday own a new SAAB 900, courtesy of my future well-to-do son, just as my Dad counted on me to do well enough to buy him an Aston Martin.

As it turns out, the best things in life remain constant, so I'm now back to counting on 3B buying me the Aston Martin that I owed my Dad. I feel that his new personal Casino Royale gets him off on the right foot in his journey. Next year I'll continue the tradition and put some James Bond books at the back of our top bookshelf to wait for him.

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  1. at his rate of growth, it's possible he'll get it for you before the end of the year ..

    okay. not very probable.

  2. Oh, the 900 Turbo! I have fond memories of a high school friend taking me for a spin in her parents' Saab. The turbo was fun, but the thing I remember is the heated seats...warmed me to the bottom (so to speak) of my phlegmatic heart.