Sunday, August 11, 2013

Toy Story

We stood in the toy aisle at Target.  All four boys and me.  It was the third store we had visited in a matter of hours (yes, hours!).  I was tired, exhausted really.  More than anything I wanted to plop down in the cart and curl up for a nap (confident in the fact the boys would STILL be in the toy aisles when I awoke).

It was the day the boys had looked forward to for months, an end of summer ritual for us.  Today, I let the boys spend their hard-earned summer allowance money.

Each armed with $40 or less, they felt a bit like Richie Rich walking into the stores.  They mulled over their choices with as much thought as naming a child or selecting a home.  They ogled video games, Pokemon cards, books, Lego sets, and an assortment of other toys.  Decisions.  Decisions.

I scanned the selection.  So many of these things have arrived in our home before.  I felt a bit sorry for each item.  Plenty of their "friends" have landed in the boys' arms only to never be the same, sustaining drastic injuries and deformations.  (Perhaps I've seen Toy Story one too many times!)  Little boys LOVE on toys a lot, you see.  And once a toy sustains too much love, it end up in toy abyss—the recesses of a toy bin—not to be seen again until the post-Christmas purge.

I bit my tongue as they made their selections.  Their choices would not have been mine, but it was their money to spend.  They will reap the fun or heartache from each decision.  Today wasn't really about the item, I realized, it was about their reward.

When we FINALLY arrived home, the boys tore open packages and pulled out coveted items.  They raced outside and paraded around the yard with their new finds.  When they tired, I saw them plop down in the grass in a huddle.  There was a sense of pride and happiness plastered across each boy's face.  These are items they earned and selected.  They will be loved.  

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