“Snow Leopard’s spaceship is so fast, it can speed out of a black hole.”
“Snow Leopard can do FTL as quick as you can blink your eye.”
“Snow Leopard is the best, first Jedi knight. He trained Yoda and all the other jedi knights. …There was no one who trained him.”
My son never had a transitional object when he was tiny. I never gave him a binky–or rather, he never took to it.
I had quite a large collection of stuffed animals that my mother refused to keep in a shrine to me in their house, so the stuffies lived at mine. And yet Hiro Protagonist refused to play with very many of them. Of the few who were good friends, he never felt compelled to carry them around, sleep with them, or bring them with him to places.
Toward the end of this school year at his hippie preschool, however, he had his eye on a stuffed crab at the book fair. When we got there at the end of the day, some other child had purchased it.
Hiro P was disappointed. I felt slightly depressed, like the tiny inability to supply him with this one small thing was indicative of a larger failure to meet some other need. (Crazy, I know, but that’s just typical parental-flavored crazy. You try to breathe and make the incident small and insignificant again.)
Anyway, Hiro P being a sensible sort chose a leggy feline with a white stomach, spots, magnets in his forepaws and feet, and a short nap to his fur. He was, as you can imagine, a Snow Leopard.
The cat doesn’t have any other name.
He set about building Snow Leopard a house made from a shoebox. (It’s decorated with sparkly pipe cleaners and glitter. Can you say that about your bed? Didn’t think so.) It has a rather large hole cut into the top, for ease of entry.
And before Hiro P goes to bed every night, Snow Leopard gets placed carefully in his box and the cloth that cleans my glasses (embellished with a few Sharpie doodles) acts as his blanket. His friend Baby Harp Seal sleeps next to the bed, with a semi-circular scrap of plastic over him. (Baby Harp Seal is a water animal, see, so requires a waterproof blanket.)
Snow Leopard has gone to birthday parties with us, he’s watched Hiro P swim by the pool, he’s enjoyed the smells and sights of the Vietnamese restaurant and the taco truck where we’ve eaten dinner or lunch.
Snow Leopard is a suave, debonair and definitely worldly cat.
Most importantly, Snow Leopard seems to lack any weaknesses. I know I’ve certainly tried to think up ways to thwart his Jedi powers, but every single one of them failed. HB has been similarly unsuccessful, and his grasp of ion cannons and blaster guns and light sabers far exceeds mine.
No, Snow Leopard is even more powerful than Hiro P’s young summer camp friend YM’s “God.”
YM told Hiro not to say “Oh my god,” because it was disrespectful to You-Know-Who. So far Hiro P thinks god is a silly idea (his words) but he was far too polite to tell YM that.
So Hiro P plays a little with Snow Leopard before he goes to summer camp in the mornings, and a little before he goes to sleep.
And I, for one, am glad he has someone so powerful who can help him make this transition from old school to new, from old friends to new. Because I am finding this process a little rough myself.