The minute we stumble in the door, Jordan grabs my hand and enthusiastically drags me to his domain. I instantly transport to another galaxy, far away. The black walls surround and captivate me. Hundreds of glow-in-the-dark stars pop out all over the room forming uncharted constellations. An impressive Star Wars mural consumed the largest wall, the gravity of the room.
Jordan wastes no time showing off his Star Wars collection. “My bed is more comfortable because it is Star Wars, plus it helps me with ‘the force’ when I want to practice. This is my Star Wars water bottle and I keep it here on this shelf so I can have a drink when I get thirsty, I don’t have the force right now, but when I do I won’t even have to move, I can just make it come to me.” He grabs the water bottle and takes a long sip. “See, perfect!” Jordan points to the small white shelf just to the side of his bed and continues to explain his Lego Darth Vader alarm clock sitting next to his water bottle. “Darth Vader and I get to wake up at the same time, only I get to go play at school and he doesn’t.”
Jordan jumps from his bed, rolls head first to the corner and pops up after briefly shuffling his now misshapen bleach-tipped mohawk. “These are my light sabers, I even made this one!” He holds up a red one, larger and more detailed than the other four, “All real Jedi have to make their own light sabers!” He waves it over his head and down his sides, fighting some invisible opponent.
Jordan eyes me, unsure if there are rules he should follow. “Can I play with my Legos yet?” He quickly asks. Before I can answer, he pulls out two large bins from under his bed. I step back, giving him ample room to play, not wanting to interfere with his agenda. “I feel like I just like to play with Legos instead of talking,” he adds. His eyes light up and his infectious smile slips onto his face. And it begins.
Quicker than I can keep up with, Jordan enlists Jedi knights, Storm Troopers, and “Roger, Rogers” (or droids to the rest of us) out of the bins, strategically lining them up. Next he unveils the arsenal of Lego weapons. A minute later a battle of “good vs. evil” unfolds before my eyes. The miniature figures lose limbs and heads all around, Jordan’s sound effects compete with the best of any movie, and he spares no expense for dramatic emphasis. He does not make it far into the battle before he enlists some additional Lego Jedi to aid him, adding new ones as quickly as the others are dying off.
The battle continues on with hardly any words, Jordan’s fingers moving quickly as he searches for a blue light saber. Within seconds he locates it and assigns it to a dodgy Storm Trooper, “Don’t worry, he is still a bad guy,” he assures me as the light saber wielding Storm Trooper invades Luke Skywalker and faces an unfortunate end. “The bad guys never win,” he passively adds.
My presence slips to the background as Jordan’s concentration moves to the repair of his X-Wing. His big sister, Haley, and baby brother, Peyton, slip into his world to watch, but he pays no attention to them either. He sits with his back to us, legs crossed, a steady wiggle rippling through his whole body; apparent to me he has to pee but evident he has no time for a potty break. I bite my tongue and let him continue. He quickly turns around and holds up his repair. “We should buy the Death Star so I can fly this in there and blow it up, that would be awesome!” Jordan’s face beams with his brilliant, new revelation. “Don’t be ridiculous,” Haley speaks up for the first time, “it is over four hundred dollars, you will never be able to get it!”
Jordan’s grin just gets bigger, “I am going to get it, I will use my piggy bank!” Haley rolls her eyes and Jordan shifts back to his battle unfazed by her pessimism.
I look on as Jordan pours everything he has into his game, not overlooking any details and not sparing any silence, the “whurzzz” of the light saber mixed with the blasts of the laser guns all interspersed with hums of “do, do, doo, do, do-doo, do, do-doo.” Jordan bounces about, never still, his energy protruding wherever possible. This world he creates becomes as equally real to him as the one he eats and breathes in, but much more interesting and intriguing, capturing the very essence of his dreams and wishes.
“Do you know who my favorite is?” Jordan abruptly announces, his first actual words in over fifteen minutes. I shrug. He holds up a small black figure, masked and caped, and whispers “Darth Vader, and did you know that in the end he comes to the good side? That is why it is good to like Darth Vader.” Jordan clips a red light saber in Darth’s hand, points it at me and yells, “On guard!” I grab the closest Jedi with a light saber, return the gesture, and indulge in a mini duel; not only does my Jedi lose his limbs, his head and his life, so do I, to which Jordan collapses into a joyous rage of laughter. “Jordan is the winner,” he squeals as the laughs subside, “whew, that was hard work.” Haley rolls her eyes again, unnoticed by Jordan.
“I am pretty sure I am going to be a Jedi one day,” Jordan giggles.
“Jedi?” His sister retorts, “You can’t actually be a Jedi, they are not real. You will probably be a Lego engineer.”
“Yeah, a Lego engine-ja-neer! Well, that and a Jedi cause those are my favorites, Star Wars Legos, and the Wii.” He stares anxiously into my eyes. “So, can I play the Wii? Oh, wait, I shouldn’t ask that should I? It’s a school night.” Looking at me hoping I might say yes anyways.