“There was This Stick”

this stickFavorite toys

“This stick” was the highlight of a game one evening. Our youngest son was playing a conversation game with family.

The question asked was, “Describe your favorite toy as a child.”

Emily, Butch’s wife, described her favorite Barbie doll.  Butch’s oldest brother Ben talked about the farm set with animals he enjoyed.

Then Butch spoke.  “There was this stick.”

Everyone waited for him to finish. Remember, this is to be the favorite toy as a child.

“I found this stick in the yard and I loved to pretend it was a gun because it had the perfect placement for my thumb.”

This is the same kid who played football in the front yard by himself. He had to play both offense and defense. Sometimes one team won, and sometimes the other team won. The white jersey suit he got for his birthday was quickly brown and stained from mud, for if there wasn’t any mud in which to slide, he carried buckets of water to the front yard and created a place in which to slide.

This stick is perfect

We laughed when we heard the story – but then we smiled. The caboose of our family wasn’t spoiled, because his brothers didn’t let it happen. He held his own with his siblings, even though at times he felt we never were ready for him to grow up.

Our kids didn’t get a lot of special privileges; they learned to make do with what they had. That’s one reason they are a creative bunch. When we have less, we learn to enjoy what is ours. We also learn to improvise to have fun. We get to use our minds and dig into those recesses of the brain to draw out creativity.

I’m not surprised that I never heard about “this stick” or the gun. He didn’t need affirmation to enjoy what he found and improvised in play.

I’m not surprised that his favorite toy isn’t something we purchased for him or was gifted to him. Often, the best memories we make are those we implement on our own.

this stick


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  1. This reminds me of the stick my youngest son played with. He found it one year when we were camping. At that time the word “stick” came out like “tick.” So it forever became Steve’s “tick.” He carried it around the entire time we were camping and then insisted it must go into the camper for save keeping. Every time we camped, “tick” came out for play. Over the years he scrapped off all the bark and it became smooth from him playing with it and dark on one end from him sticking it into the campfire. I think he even carved his name in it at one. He is grown up with sons of his own and “tick” is still in the corner of his old bedroom at my house. I tell him he can someday use it as a cane.

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