When Sentimental Parents Have Unsentimental Children

I try not to get too sentimental about things, but I can’t help it!  I think I am finally becoming able to rid myself of most of my childhood, in the form of toys, papers, stuffed animals, etc., and I can pick out only the most important things to save.  But when it comes to my kids, I get misty-eyed just looking at that old onesie that someone wore every other day for months, or that favorite toy that no longer gets played with.

I blame the Toy Story movies for some of this, but when we were getting ready to move we had to get rid of a lot of stuff and this was very hard for me.  For Ruby, not so much.  She was quite happy to part with half (or more) of her stuff.  Except I kept getting in the way.  “Not this one!” I would cry out as she would toss her first Christmas present ever into the give away pile.  “Do you know how many happy meals I had to buy you so that we could collect all of those beanie babies!?” I would moan as they all went into the Goodwill box.  I must confess, I moved several things back into the keep pile when she wasn’t looking.

Now she is getting into some new shows on TV, like “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” and “Sid the Science Kid.”  But what is wrong with the old shows?!  Doesn’t she remember when we used to watch Doodlebops together?  Mickey Mouse was on her birthday cake!  Why can’t we watch Mickey Mouse!?  But she has moved on, and I am not ready for it.

I think that part of it is that I was always an outsider in that world.  I could appreciate “Little Einsteins” for what it was to me, which was a good kids show, but she was actually into it and learning from it.  And now she is going into kindergarten and doesn’t need to learn her colors and numbers anymore.  She has outgrown her old shows, but I never will, because I was too old for them the whole time.

I realize that this is just a terrible preview of what is to come, and someday, sooner than I will want, she will outgrow me as well.  Or at least outgrow our current relationship.  She needs me to hold her hand now, but someday she won’t.  But since I never needed it in the first place (I just enjoyed it), I will never outgrow it.  So I suppose I will have to just enjoy the time now as it happens, learn to love the new aspects of our relationship as they develop, and pray that she is more sentimental with me than she was with her beanie babies.

Posted in Parenting, Ruby.

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