Friday, July 17, 2009

Broken & Lost Things

When you live with two four year olds who are as rambunctious as mine you find yourself pulling out the super glue all the time. Yesterday the sweet little beehive honey container I found got knocked into the sink & thus needs its turn with the glue. Over our road trip, Maia lost a new treasure from her pirate trip at a stop in FL. She figured it out fairly soon (about an hour later) but there was NO way on an 8 hour road trip we were turning around for two hours extra for a stuffed dolphin toy.

I remember a friend of a friend once talking about how she would hide the dead rolly pollies when her kid split them in half by accident, pretending the new one was the same one when the child said "fix it." I remember thinking that was a bad idea-- some things can't be fixed, and even a 2 year old can and should learn that, especially when it's life, and even when it's only a rolly polly life. Sometimes, especially Sean, breaks things over & over again and the glue runs out. But sometimes you gotta leave it broken, I think.

It gets me to thinking about the things we lose & break in our lives. Simple things you put a bit of superglue on and hope they hold. When I was a kid, I moved around so much and lost everything I owned many times. Perhaps this explains my own odd attachment to trying to fix things, to trying, as I did yesterday, to buy a new toy to try to make up (at least a little bit) for the lost one.

Yesterday at our "problem" rent property, the kids from the back apartment were in the patio for the house poking the ceiling with a metal rod. These kids have most likely been breaking in to the currently untenanted (we're working on it) large house, and probably cut the new screen door. They're about 11 or so, and ought to be trustworthy to leave unattended sometimes, but they aren't. They're constantly in to stuff, and terribly destructive. It may get them kicked out of our place because we won't let our cool places be totally trashed.

It got me thinking, as usual, about my own childhood and my own times alone, and I spent last night feeling, generally, kind of sad and a little mad. Not because my childhood was like theirs but because, overall, it could have been similar but wasn't. And I guess we learn different lessons differently, because I don't LIKE breaking things. And I think, and hope, that my kids are going to feel sad about it too. The loss is sometimes forever and can't be superglued, and a new toy doesn't necessarily replace the old one.

But that's a tough lesson to learn, and I hate watching my kids learn it too.


slyboots2 said...

Ah, you bring up the ghosts of treasures past....well, there are a passel of them. And yup, they can haunt. Mine were generally caused by my mother throwing things away on a cleaning binge, and the treasures being hidden inside something else. Sigh. Indeed.

Anonymous said...

mine keeps accumulating new stuff at her mother's house. "but they're from the dollar store" her mother says every time i roll my eyes at the new stuff. so what? that makes it better? sigh...
the other day at Toronto airport i saw a little 5 yr. old girl w/a t-shirt that said in large letters: BUY ME STUFF.
you cannot imagine how hard we cringed.
with all this craziness in the world, can we not teach our kids that it's ok to repair things and re-use them? that it's NOT ok to keep getting more and more and more stuff? even at the dollar store. made in china.