Saturday, July 10, 2010

Parting with Toys

What makes a toy? Is it simply a plastic action figure, a stuffed animal, doll, or board game with which a child engages himself for amusement? Or, as Pixar has posited for three films now, is a toy something more? I certainly like to think that each and every one of my toys would go through hell and back if it meant being loved and played with. Despite being in my mid-twenties, I have a collection of animals with whom I sleep every night, and I have sundry others waiting for me at my parents' house, including what was my best friend until at least the age of nine, my stuffed orangutan, Jake.

I often feel guilty leaving my toys behind. Not all of them have an entire room with which to amuse themselves, as Jake and some of my other favourites do. I must confess that a good number have been placed in trash bags and closeted (if one knew just how many stuffed animals I had as a child, this might sound perfectly reasonable); however, knowing the ethics of toys, I feel extremely guilty placing these particular toys under such duress. They don't know if or when they will ever be played with again, and for that, I am very sorry. But, I am a rather sentimental person, and I cannot bear to part with my friends of so many years.

Perhaps also, it is because I refuse to grow up entirely. I could not possibly do what Andy did at the end of the third and final Toy Story film, not only because I would worry what would become of my toys when another child grew up, but also because I could never completely part with that aspect of self. And in so doing, my toys suffer year after year. I realize that I am being extremely selfish, and if I truly loved my toys I would attempt to find them worthy homes, but I couldn't bear to have them mistreated, whether in a home or a daycare, and as I have no guarantee that all daycares are "cool and groovy," they shall have to remain in storage limbo, at least for now.

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