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Last Monday, Labor Day, John and Noah were quite content to hang out at the domicile, eat, watch TV and play. I wanted to go somewhere. So I decided to see “Toy Story 3” a movie of which Noah has consistently said, “Mom, I am too old to see that!”
The first Toy Story came out in 1995, followed by the second one in 1999, the year Noah was born. He’s never experience Toy Story in a theatre, but of course, when he was young we delighted him with the VHS versions. (Remember those?)
When he was four, he was the proud owner of a Woody and a Buzz Lightyear. He loved those toys and played with them often. I watched in bliss.
But, well, he’s growing up. Now 11 and ½, (the ½ of course is important) is in his first
year of middle school. Woody and Buzz made the move to Denver when he was seven, but they were relegated to a top shelf where they collected dust.
A few weeks ago, a family we love came over for dinner. With them, was their three-year-old son Riley. Riley is a big Toy Story fan and saw Woody and Buzz in Noah’s room and squealed, so Noah got them down for Riley to play with. When our guests were leaving, Noah made an unexpected move.
“Riley can have Woody and Buzz if he wants.”
Silence. Riley’s mom quickly glanced my way. I swallowed hard.
“Are you sure, Noah?”
“Yeah. I never play with them.”
So Riley went home with Woody and Buzz, each of whom has the letters N O A H printed on their bottom feet.
When Noah started middle school, John got a little emotional but I didn’t cry one tear. I think it was because I was ready for Noah to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE already. :0)
But as Toy Story 3 came to an end, the tears became a Niagara Falls event. I won’t ruin the story, but if you have seen it, you know you need hankies at the end. For me, it was a cathartic cry, or actually a sob-fest. Only one other couple was in the theatre, so it wasn’t as if I made a scene. Well, maybe I did.
I couldn’t help it. Watching this movie brought all the emotions, a type of grief, a mother experiences as she sees her children grow up. I will never hold Noah in my lap like a little ball of warmth and love. I will never again pick lift him up so he can reach something. I will never go over his times tables or go over spelling words with him.
I will never again walk into his room and see him playing with Woody or Buzz.
As it should be, yes. But it still hurts.
When the credits rolled I wiped my eyes and blew my nose and left the theatre. At home, I hugged Noah hard and told him I loved him.
“Noah, Toy Story 3 was so good. I wish you’d come. It made me cry.”
Without a beat, he replied, “Exactly why I didn’t want to go, Mom.”