No Toys for You!

December 20, 2010

Friday night, WD and I found ourselves without kids again.  It’s been happening pretty frequently for us.  They both makes plans or have things going on, and we look at each other like, “huh, now what?”

This was probably the first time that we didn’t choose to go out to a nice adults-only dinner.  We went stocking-stuffer shopping and wrapping paper shopping, and then came home and wrapped gifts until the girls were due home.  Of course, we started the evening out with the MOST delicious chicken shwarma with extra garlic sauce.  Delicious.

While we were wandering, we ducked into several of our old favorite shops.  But we bought almost nothing in those old favorite shops.

I would have bought something.  We wanted stocking stuffers.  We wanted little things to make the girls smile.

But we couldn’t find anything.  These were the places:

The Paper Source.  The girls used to beg to go there every weekend.  They would buy the fancy paper, and the stickers, fancy pens in all different colors, had a healthy stamp collection.  They’d make art projects, and they would play with origami.  If they had extra money – this was THE PLACE to go.

Eureka.  I remember the day this place opened in our town center.  I was wandering around town, and passed the video rental place (since out of business), and in one of the front areas near the window, there was a huge display of puzzles and games.  I called WD frantic “you have to come check this out!”  There hasn’t been a year since that we didn’t do a significant amount of our holiday shopping at this store.  We’ve enjoyed so many puzzles and games and little toys and gifts.

But this year?

Neither place had a single thing that I thought my girls would be interested in.  Not one thing.  Oh – I take that back.  I bought Mouse some hair clips at Paper Source.  But query why the hell Paper Source even HAD hair clips.  I mean, seriously?

This year, I was looking for the North Face jackets and an iPod Touch, and the tights with flowers and other designs on them, and a black pencil skirt, and sports apparel and a pair of earrings and a sock monkey hat.

I like having a 12 year old and a 14 year old.  They are fun and interesting.  I like that they play basketball and volleyball and soccer and field hockey and crew.  I like that they look to spend their free time going running with their friends, or baking cookies and cakes.  I even like that they care how they dress, and that the ways that they want to dress are decent and attractive (and if they’re not attractive, it’s because they’re oversized, not because they’re slutty).  I like that Lemon is taking guitar and voice lessons, and that she is looking forward to learning Latin outside of school because her school schedule is already too full.

But I do miss the simpler days.  The puzzles and the pretty papers and the little art projects.  A friend reminded me that – you know – board games and puzzles are not specific to a certain age.  It’s not that the girls outgrew them.  It’s that they are just currently interested in other things.  I play board games, and love them.

They’re just busy in other directions right now.  Many of those directions are outside the house and with friends, instead of inside the house and with WD and I.  But not to an alarming degree.  And when we do things together, we have a very good time, and don’t have to twist their arms to get there.

So I will try to take my nostalgia in stride, and not wish for the younger days.  Because they sure had their own challenges, and I don’t miss those.



One comment

  1. […]  Lemon is taking Latin.  Only not at her high school (which would be free).  With a private tutor.  At her high school, […]

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