Back in the summer, Kev and I took Ava Grace to her first movie theater experience. We went to see the new Toy Story 3 movie which was a pretty big deal for Ava cause she's pretty bonkers about the whole Toy Story thing these days. She can recite very large portions of the film (which she inherited from me, it doesn't mean she's really seen it THAT many times, although it's getting up there). She was pumped for the movie and so were we, after all Toy Story which first came out when I was 10 was a pretty magical film for me too.
Anyway, this isn't going to get into being a review for the film (which was fantastic by the way but actually borderline scary and pretty intense for little kids). Alot of the message of the film though spoke to adults anyway, and was about loss and the grief of moving on and leaving one's own childhood behind. I was pretty choked up right from the start of the movie when it opens with just the few remaining toys Andy has hung onto as he's grown from a boy to a young adult. The movie of course goes on to make you laugh and cheer but I was a crying mess by the end of the film when it closes with Andy having one last playtime with his toys as he hands them over to a new child to enjoy for years to come.
Maybe it's watching my own little girl move ahead from babyhood at a breakneck pace that makes me so emotional, but the thing that got me the most in the film is the Toy's perspective of longing to be played with and loved by a child. Their loneliness is really heartbreaking, especially because as a child, even though I knew my toys weren't really REAL, they were to me, and I could never get rid of the special few because I thought it would hurt their feelings.
My daughter is the same way now, and her special toys are included in our family trips, errands, mealtimes, and taken to bed of course. We jokingly refer to Ava's little family of special toys as her "entourage" because at one point all 5-8 of them had to be included all the time.
It really all boils down though to one or two special "lovies" those toys that are so real and loved that they become a part of you.
One of my favorite children's stories always has been "The Velveteen Rabbit" which talks about that intangible quality of a loved toy that makes it "real" to the child. The Rabbit is loved until he is shabby and is a hero like character for loving the boy in return and staying by him all through his bout with Scarlett Fever.
With all these thoughts circling around my head and making my heart sentimental for my forgotten toys, I thought I'd share some portraits of the "Lovies" that have touched the heart of the people in our family. I hope they remind you of your "lovies" and if you still have them lying about or packed away, I hope it inspires you to pull them out for a good snuggle.
This is "New Puppy" which isn't new at all. Ava brought him home clandestinely from a friends house when she was two, and was so attached that the other mom (my generous friend Grace) said whe should keep the puppy. Ava started calling him "new puppy" and he's been in her arms every day since.
Jackson has just recently become more attached to this blanket my talented Grandma Esau made for him when he was born. It's always been my favorite of his baby blankets and now it's his too. I'll find him snuggling with it all the time and reaching for it before we put him in his bed. He calls it "Uh" if anything but we've started referring to as "The Binkoo" (don't ask)
This is "Bam Bam" Kev's lovey from as far back as he can remember. He had several stuffed toys all named Bam Bam (original I know) but this is the one that could never be parted with, although recently Bam Bam parted with his nose and is waiting for me to glue it back on.
And this is "Timmy". My Bear. My everything chum whom I cuddled and played with cried into and cried for whenever he was lost. He's been dirtied and washed and ripped and sewed and re-stuffed and lived next to my pillow till Kev took his spot in the bed.
He's grown some new holes and he doesn't play music anymore (he used to play a fabulous rendition of Baba Blacksheep) but I still can't manage to leave him in box he lives in our living room, enjoying his retirement days in the sunbeams from the front window.