I saw Toy Story 3 this morning. I went by myself while rest of my family (who'd already seen TS3) went to see The Last Airbender, which I had no interest in seeing. I was warned in advance to bring tissues. I didn't. And I didn't need them. It's not that I didn't find the ending touching. I did, just not tearfully so. But the movie did make me think about the toys from my childhood.
Unless I just have a really bad memory, I can't think of any toys that I was really attached to. I had a very soft, stuffed koala bear that I remember because my dog chewed off one of the legs. I don't remember the bear before its leg was chewed off. I don't recall the day or the circumstances surrounding the canine attack. I just remember the rough edges of what was left behind, the peachy-orange of stuffing poking out.
We had blocks that were stored in a white cotton sack with a drawstring. I really liked the blocks, but they weren't the kind of toy that you would take to bed with you.
I did have a Barbie phase that I do remember fondly. We lived in Richmond, Indiana. My friend Paige lived across the street and we played Barbies at her house quite often. It seems that Paige's parents were always decorating something in the house, so we would take scraps of carpet and wallpaper and make our own Barbie houses out of cardboard boxes. It seems that we played Barbies in her basement for a long time, every day, listening to the "Free to Be You and Me" album on the record player.
But for as much as I remember enjoying the Barbies, I don't think I ever tucked them in with me at night, took them to church or propped them up at the dinner table next to me. And when we moved from Indiana to Ohio when I was nine, my Barbies mysteriously disappeared. I never saw them again and, oddly, I wasn't upset.
My kids are the same way. We've never had to drive back to some hotel or even a friend's house to retrieve a well-loved doll or stuff animal left behind. Annie had a Bitty Baby, but she wasn't particularly attached. When Charlie was 2, he asked Santa for a Nutcracker and a doll baby. Santa delivered a Beanie Baby Kid dressed in a soccer uniform (a compromise between Mr. and Mrs. Claus). He was happy to have him on Christmas morning, but forgot about him soon after. Robbie has come the closest to having an Andy-like relationship with a toy. When he was a toddler and preschooler, he had Eddie, a Fisher Price little people doll, that he would sleep with and take for nap time at Mother's Day Out. But once Robbie discovered dinosaurs, Eddie lost his appeal. Eddie is still around, as is Bitty Baby and "Charlie," but mostly because they remind me of when my kids were little. I think I am more connected to my children's toys than I ever was to my own or they were attached to them.
I know some kids do have ties to their toys. Annie's friend Olivia had a pink bear named, of all things, Pinka, that went everywhere with her. But for some reason, that's just never been true for me or my children. Maybe that's why I didn't get teary at the end of Toy Story 3. Or maybe I just haven't met the right toy yet.
Did you have a Buzz or Woody or some kind of toy that you were attached to? Do you still have it?