Cadence’s Fair Game

Cadence and the Army Men.

The Epic Next to the Coffee Table

“Lala, I’ll be the green guys,” Cadence said, as we hunkered down on the living room floor. “You can be the brown guys. And here: You can have my Green Lantern.”

He offered me a plastic toy that stood in Gulliveresque proportion to the little army men. “Thanks. Is he a good one to have?” I asked, knowing nothing of the rules of engagement that we’d follow today.

“He’s big, but he’s weak,” Cadence told me. “Since you have him, I’m taking both the tanks.”

“If you’re taking both tanks, I’ll take the jet,” I said. “You can have the helicopter.” Jets, you understand, are far superior to helicopters in living room plastic warfare.

“No, I get the jet. You can have the helicopter.”  Cadence looked at me sideways, sly-like. “And I get the big green truck. Because I have the green guys.”

“That doesn’t seem real fair to me,” I said. “Are you going to take all the good stuff?”

My question set Cadence’s eyes atwinkle. It hadn’t occurred to him, accustomed as he was to negotiating with his peers, that his grandmother might permit him to take all the best toys.

“You can have one rifle guy,” he told me, offering me a kneeling army man who shouldered a rifle. “And one radio guy,” he added, tossing me a figure with a walkie-talkie.

“Wait,” I said. “One’s no good. Who will he talk to?” 

“He can talk to my radio guys,” Cadence suggested.

“I don’t think so,” I said, reaching for a second radioman. “And I need at least one grenade guy, and one bazooka guy…” I collected a few more characters from the collection.

“Okay,” Cadence said, “But I get the rocks and the walls and the palm trees to hide behind.”

“This is not going to be a fair war at all,” I said. “You have everything! I have one helicopter and one big weak guy, and a few little guys. It’ll be over in minutes.”

Cadence pondered. He surveyed. He began to gather up more “guys” to share with me.

When he was done sharing, at least eighty men stood on his side the battlefield, while I’d mustered a dozen. Plus the “big, but weak” guy.

“This still looks uneven,” I told him.

 “Your guys can start the fight first!” he said. 

I raised an eyebrow. He looked away, lowering his lashes. He surveyed the miniature battlefield we’d arrayed in my living room.

We sat for a moment in silence. Cadence studied the lopsided field of battle. I studied his little-boy heart.

Granting his every wish had spoiled the battle that would come. He hadn’t thought of that. Without meaning to, I’d trapped the child in a corner. I sat and waited, fascinated. I could see him puzzling through his predicament.

The air grew taut in the quiet. 

“I know, Lala! We’ll fight together on the big side against the little side.” He beamed up at me, delighted with his solution. I wrapped my arms around him, pulled him close so he wouldn’t see me wiping my eyes.

“Okay, Cadence,” I said. “We’ll fight on the same side.” Forever, I thought.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
17 But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
Psalm 103:15-18 (NASB) 

A Godspotting first: I’m citing the same Scripture, two posts in a row!