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Toy Stories



This weekend my Uncle - my Mother's brother, surprised my Mom by flying to Toronto and showing up at my Brother's house. My mom hadn't seen her family for almost 5 years. Of course everyone was in on the plan, except my parents. They can't keep a secret.

As my niece and nephew were playing with their toys and we reflected back to our own childhood and us being left home alone at a very young age (It was the 70's - people still smoked in closed cars, there were no seatbelts and I remember rolling around in the back of the Gremlin. You know, the car that explodes) and my mom said that we didn't really have many toys growing up.

My parents don't know most of the popular nursery rhymes - because they didn't do that. We weren't really read to or any of that stuff. They are learning things like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for the first time - for my niece and nephew.

Actually - I don't even know the words to most of the nursery songs/rhymes.

My brother and I were largely left to our own devices because our parents were busy, as new immigrants are - trying to keep everything together. So I guess we had to make stuff up to amuse ourselves. We turned out okay - sometimes I think more okay than the kids who got and had everything.

I'm thinking that having to rely on yourself to amuse yourself is a childhood skill that must be pretty hard to learn as an adult. You have to find ways to fill your time, imagination and your brain without much outside influence and stimulus - at least not the store-manufactured, toxic plastic, focus-group reviewed kinda stimulus.

This is just me reflecting back as an adult, who knows what really went on - but I don't actually remember missing out on anything as a child.

And perhaps that "having to make stuff up" explains The Summer of Death back when I was about 6 or so. (tangent alert)

I spent the entire summer preoccupied with death. How people die, what happens... Where we go.. Death death death.

Went to the Science Centre and had my first Rocket Popsicle.. Death.

Playing with other kids in a sandbox.. looking at the ants on the ground and thinking about... Death.

Heavy stuff for a six year old.

Do you remember when you realized your own mortality?

I'm hoping it was long past the age of 6.

There's a little article at Psych Today that ties Death to Toy Story 3.

For reals.


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