My son is six years old and last week he developed a fascination for Pokémon trading cards. It came out of nowhere for us. Since the first day of school, our dinner conversations have revolved around Ninjago and Beyblade®. I know that Pokémon has been around for 15+ years, but I’ve just never understood the appeal. Have you seen these characters?! They look like a science project gone incredibly wrong…disgusting little alien bug monsters with names like Metachomp and Spineboil. Don’t trade your cards, kiddos, just give them away and never look back!
With a little influence from a group of kids at school, Noah decided that Pokémon was the key to recess entertainment. He had no cards to trade, however, and he never asked us to buy him a pack of cards. Instead, he sat down one night and started making his own Pokémon trading cards. He meticulously cut out rectangles of cardstock paper and he drew ugly creatures on each and every card. He gave them all names and assigned them each a super power. He made 37 cards! The next day, Noah came home from school and tearfully told his daddy that nobody wanted to trade with his homemade cards. In fact, the other kids called his cards “fake” and “stupid.” He was crushed, but I was truly annihilated as my heart broke for him.
Yesterday morning the mailman delivered 50 perfectly branded Pokémon cards, courtesy of my husband and a $7.00 eBay shopping spree. The cards went out to dinner with us last night. They were carefully placed on Noah’s headboard before bed. They almost went to church with us this morning. They’ve been sorted and counted and admired more than my Coach purse. Tomorrow they will make their first-grade recess debut.
What about the 37 homemade cards? Those will be stored away in Noah’s keepsake box and one day I will tell him the story of a little boy with creativity for miles and I hope he will be just as proud of those homemade cards as he was last week. Should we have bought him branded cards to make up for his disappointment? I have no frickin’ idea. Do I care? Not really.