Most grown-ups have no idea what cool is. But every once in a while, a kid gets lucky.
Jake had long since accepted that Granny Sharon wasn't like other grownups. Granny Sharon knew stuff. When Jake took out his Erector Set, Granny Sharon recognized it, and called it by name.
Jake liked the times he got to visit Granny Sharon by himself, because it was more fun when his sisters weren't there. He'd get to lie across the couch in the TV room and Olivia wouldn't keep telling him to turn it down, and Granny Sharon knew special card games that Jake was pretty sure nobody else knew how to play. And there was also this old closet that was full of comic books and toys. Granny Sharon said they used to belong to her brother who was also named Jake, an older Jake. And he was the one who taught Granny Sharon about an Erector Set.
Jake liked the closet because it was full of old metal spaceships. Boy, they were heavy. He would never throw one at Olivia but he liked knowing that if he ever did, it would knock her into next week. The stuff in his Erector set wasn't quite that heavy, but it was good metal and fun to build with. Jake would wire up the electric motor from the Xtreme Set for some extra power. And if he used his Space Chaos set, he could fire the missiles, and no one would say "Jake! Don't let Ella put those missiles in her mouth!" Sometimes a man needed to fire missiles indiscriminately. Granny Sharon understood that.
Granny Sharon always seemed perfectly happy to let Jake build quietly, but of course she loved to talk. One time Jake asked her about the older Jake, and Granny Sharon… well, she wasn't sad, but it was clear she missed him. She said older Jake was in a war, and didn't come back. But she also said that older Jake would have liked how Jake built things near the closet, and that older Jake wouldn't have minded Jake reading his old comic books. She said both Jakes were family, so things like that were always okay.
Jake finished that day with a small stack of chocolate chip cookies, some cold milk, and a race with the cars he built from the Turbo set. One driver was him, and he was the driver that came in first, of course. But the second place car was driven by older Jake, so they stood side by side at the winner's circle. The sports reporters said they'd never seen anything like it in the history of racing.