Kevin was an antique shop owner in San Francisco. My mom was an antiques dealer, Art Deco was her niche. Kevin was my Moms customer, buying her bakelite jewelry and objects d’art. Despite the miles that separated them, they became dear friends. They would talk on the phone for hours discussing antiques, life and everything in between.
One day, Kevin phoned my mother to let her know he was sending her a huge shipment of trolls. He had strict instructions that her daughters were allowed to claim some for ourselves.
We waited. And waited. For these trolls to arrive.
Finally, a huge box full of trolls arrived. Each one lovingly wrapped in newspaper and bubble wrap, protecting them from any type of injury that may befall this huge Dam Troll family.
One by one, my mom withdrew them from the box, unwrapping them like swaddled newborns needing a diaper change.
My sister and I stood by, watching excitedly. Ooooing and ahhing over each troll that was produced. We were like the proverbial kids in a candy store, wanting to touch but not allowed to.
Finally, the box was empty and its contents were laid out over the floor of the kitchen. We were overrun by trolls of varying shapes, sizes and hair color.
My sister and I each were allowed to choose one. Mine long ago lost, perhaps it had run off with a gnome, a secret forbidden love.
The ones my mother kept still stand in the same place they’ve been for 20 or so years, staring out over the kitchen and guarding it from whatever trolls guard kitchens from. Each one smirking and staring in their home that they were sent so lovingly to.
Years later, when my children were old enough to really notice these silly creatures that resided in my parents kitchen, they became fascinated with them. They were allowed to gently play with them but rarely did. Mostly, they liked to look at them, taking some strange comfort in knowing that they were guarded by these plastic, colorful sentries.
My youngest son found them to be most fascinating. Particularly the Granny and Gramps ones, much like the picture above. To my son, these trolls were very much who my parents are to him. His family.
The other day at my son’s elementary school, there was a spend your pennies day. Which, in each class, when the students are good, they earn pennies. And then, there are days throughout the year where there is a little shop that they are allowed to spend their pennies.
He spent all the pennies he had earned and bought a troll.
Only, it wasn’t for himself.
He saw this pencil topper troll with purple hair and decided that the family of trolls needed a new member.
So, without a second or selfish thought, he bought it for my dad to add to the family of trolls that had begun living at my parents house in the late 1980’s, given to my mom by a fabulous man who died of AIDS many years ago.
My son climbed into my car, proudly carrying this troll he had purchased. He handed it to me and asked me to get my dad on the phone because we had to get this little purple haired guy to his real owner. My son was insistent that this troll needed to go home, to his forever home and that I should be careful in handling it because he didn’t want anything to happen to him.
The new tiny troll with wild purple hair is now sitting amongst the old trolls, his new family, who still stand guard on a shelf in my parents kitchen. Most likely wreaking havoc when no one is looking. He his home.
My son knew the importance of the trolls, even without anyone telling him. He also knows how lonely my dad is since my mom died. Mostly though, my son demonstrated that for all his spoiled-ness, he is so caring, kind and giving. It didn’t even occur to him that he could have bought something for himself. When he was carefully picking out this troll, because that’s how he does things…carefully and thoughtfully…even when picking out action figures or t-shirts…he knew that this wasn’t going to be for him. He had it in his head from the minute he saw those little trolls that he would be getting one as a gift for my dad.
To my family, the trolls were just cute objects to be picked up, looked at and placed back into their positions.
To my son, they became part of who my parents are to him.
This little act of kindness touched me on so many levels. My heart soars with pride. And even though my son is a pain in the butt, prone to tantrums and anger, he has shown his true self.
And this mommy is so proud of her little troll.