Remember when I started this blog and some of the first things I ever blogged about were my eldest child, aka the little guy, who at the time was an only child and a baby? Yeah, he's eleven now, his birthday falling in the middle of last week. For most of his life, at this point, his birthday has coincided with various other bits of craziness - Labor Day, the beginning of a new school year (which used to primarily impact him and his siblings but now is equally significant for my wife, who is teaching at community college full-time), etc. Thus his birthday always gets stretched out a bit, to the point where he ends up averaging three separate celebrations per annum. The actual date of birth remains sacrosanct for the nuclear family, even if it's a busy weekday, and the (not-so-but-still-kinda-)little guy receives presents from his parents and sibs, along with any others which might have come in the mail, plus he gets to decide what's for dinner. Often there is cake as well. But then there are the other satellite celebrations, which vary from year to year, ranging from a get-together with grandparents at the beach in close-enough late August, to gatherings with local family in later September when everyone's schedule allows, to the designated birthday party activity or outing for friends which perforce has to be on the weekend, and so on.
Point being, his birthday was last week but I'm still fielding questions about what he's into and what kind of gifts he might like, as there are still nominal commemorations to come. It's trickier every year as he's just starting to set aside childish things, and trickier the further we get past the actual birthdate because he's already hauled in a ton of loot and the good ideas (or low-hanging fruit) have already been taken. Which leads me to browsing around Amazon, looking for things he might be into with nothing more than keywords to guide me. For example, he's on a big fantasy kick these days, D&D and whatnot, so dragons seem like fair game.
And then I run across something like this:
Whut. WHUT. WHUT.
I mean I can answer the what, because it's right there on the product page: "The Freedom Dragon is an imposing figure that is fiercely devoted to the idea that all living creatures should be free. Its appearance inspires courage and determination to all those fighting for just causes. Though its appearance makes it seem stern and uncaring, the Freedom Dragon is a strong and determined protector of all those it feels are facing injustice"
Me: *blink blink* OK, sure, I guess ... *reads further*
"REALISTIC APPEARANCE FOR MULTIPLE USES: Realistic, educational, and fun, this figurine is suitable for a range of interests, including collectors, enthusiasts, teachers, and kids. Admire it on a shelf, use it in the classroom, or simply enjoy playing with it."
Me: *blink blink blink*
It takes all kinds. It's not hurting anybody. I just ... just, wow. What a time to be alive.