<![CDATA[My Site - Blog]]>Fri, 20 Nov 2015 01:49:42 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Hot Wheels Moment]]>Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:33:16 GMThttp://www.neilson133.com/blog/testQ: What are you into these days?

A: Hot Wheels. I'm having a real Hot Wheels moment. I was into them as a little boy, and when my son got old enough to stop eating them, I started buying them here and there at drugstores and flea markets. That was a couple of years ago, and now we've got over a hundred.  I never had this much fun collecting anything before. 

I like that they're still made of metal. In a plastic world, that matters. I like that there's so many; every time I pass a drugstore now, I go in to see what different Hot Wheels they have, and when I'm a flea market, pretty much all I do is go from bin to bin of old Hot Wheels looking for interesting specimens. I like that it makes no difference whether they're brand new or decades old; their appeal is obvious and spans generations. In fact, that's what I like most about Hot Wheels: they're the only toy that exists today as it did when I was boy. That continuity means a lot to me now. It makes me sad how little my children's childhood resembles my own. I understand that each generation lives its own time in its own way, but still: does it have to be so different? It's not mere nostalgia that makes me lament the changing times, it's a practical matter of what I have to give my children, what I have to teach. If nothing about their experience is familiar to me, then I'm parenting blind, confronting each new situation without the benefit of relevant memory. I treasure anything that connects their childhood to mine; in those rare connections I feel the continuity that is supposed to be the ultimate reward of parenting, the sense that past and future are present together, embodied in us.