Monday, October 8, 2012

Those Stuffed Animals Have Feelings!

During our beach vacations we always take a stroll along the beach searching for treasures from the sea. It’s one of our favorite things to do.

We visiting Cape May a few years ago and after a long, stuffy ride in the car, we immediately headed to the beach once we checked into our hotel. We didn’t bother to take our long pants off. We just ran to the beach. And the ocean greeted us by throwing a giant piece of aqua blue sea glass at us. It was such a beautiful color and I have never seen one since.  Another time we were strolling along a new beach in Truro on a misty, foggy morning and I found a giant piece of lilac purple sea glass. I was giddy with excitement.
Just this past Memorial Day weekend, we took our inaugural first of the season drive out onto the National Seashore in Truro. The sea gave us 16 starfish! In my whole life, I think I have only found 2-3 starfish in the “wild”! They were already washed up and dry so I knew they were too late to be saved. Later that day as we were collecting shells, I found myself a little panicked at the amount in Mimi’s hand and I told her to put some back…that their friends might miss them if she took them all. She thought about it for a minute and it seemed to make sense to her. She sifted through and put a few back. I think I was feeling sad for all the starfish that had died so I was transferring those feelings to shells.

When the kids were little and we were shopping, they had a weakness for stuffed animals. They would inevitably ask for one and I would let them carry it around in the cart but would tell them that we couldn’t buy them because I would feel badly if we took them from their friends. “Don’t you think their friends will be sad if we take the baby hippo away from them?” I know….it was so bad. But look, I didn’t need one more stuffed animal in my house. And quite honestly, there was a little part of me that thought the other stuffed animals might miss them.  As a side note, I did switch tactics not long after this and tell them that “Yes, that stuffed puppy is really cute but they don’t actually sell the puppies on Tuesdays”.  For several years, my kids thought that even though the store had a lot of things, only certain things were for sale on certain days. Let's be honest...that was genius. It didn't work for long but you have to take what you can get when the kids are little.
Have you ever seen the episode of The Middle where Sue Heck can’t get rid of her old hot curlers, even though they don’t work, because she thinks it will hurt their feelings to throw them away? Yep, that’s me. I will say I am pretty good at throwing things out. Well, I’m going at throwing everyone else’s stuff out but occasionally I come across things I just can’t part with because I think they might be sad or mad if I throw them out. It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes I find myself putting something back that I was going to give away just to spare its feelings.  

I have to be strong though because I live with three pack rats. Well, let me clarify. Tim is a wanna be pack rat. It’s as if he grew up in the Great Depression. “We need to save those boxes. You never know when you are going to need a good box.” Yeah, but we don’t need 20 of them…
It was only recently that I realized that the kids probably don’t throw things out because they think things have feelings. Just the other day I suggested we throw out an old blanket that we used to hold the bunny when she was a baby. Mimi yelled “No, we can’t! The blanket will miss her!” Uh oh.

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