When Toy Story came out, I watched it and thought it was sweet and cute and filled with punny humor for grownups. I don’t really remember sitting down and watching Toy Story 2. As is the case with lots of kid movies, I’ve seen bits and pieces.
Fast forward to the present, to me, the mother of three children. Have y’all seen Toy Story 3? It’s just downright mean. Andy goes away to college, leaving his mom behind along with the cherished icons of his childhood-Woody and Buzz. It killed me!
Even though my days are long and the arguing is maddening and the whining pushes me past my limit, when I think of my babies leaving home, I’m reduced to a puddle of hysterical tears. When they tell me they want to live with us forever, I happily (albeit completely unrealistically) agree. I know that they will “need” me less and less, and I take immediate comfort in that because so often right now, the “needs” feel overwhelming to me. But at the same time, each milestone, each putting-the-toothpaste-on-by-myself breaks my heart just a little.
And then…guess what Sophie’s ballet recital song was? Jessie’s song from Toy Story 2, “When Somebody Loved Me." It's the one where she recounts how her girl, Emily, loved her as a child, then outgrew and ultimately abandoned her. Jason makes fun of me for crying every time I hear the song, but it represents more to me than just a child leaving behind a toy. To me it equals a child leaving childhood, growing up and not needing the security of holding on – to a stuffed giraffe or a soft blanket or my hand.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m happy to have healthy children who are growing every day. I pray for them to be strong and independent. But growing up means growing away and it hurts.
So I hope this explains, to the other dance moms and a bit better to my husband, my weeping at parent’s day at Studio B, and sometimes when I was waiting outside the door there, and certainly today at the recital. For the snuffling, mascara-smeared mess I was, I say thanks to Pixar and Jessica Sheffey! Could you please pass the tissues?