The phases, fads, and interest of kids change as quickly as their shoe size. In our house, the love of Blue’s Clues, Bubble Guppies, and Paw Patrol were replaced by Minecraft, Marvel, and Monster High. Shortly thereafter, everything became Harry Potter and Teen Titans Go!. Now we are thoroughly entrenched in all things having to do with the Netflix series, “Stranger Things.”
Through all of these growth spurts, toy clean-outs, and changes in TV preferences, two things have remained: Avery’s love of dinosaurs and Aaron’s love of Eeyore.
Avery’s started at 18 months with the wooden Melissa & Doug dinosaur puzzle. I wish I could count how many times she took those wooden dinosaurs out of that puzzle and placed them back. Their first big “outing” when they were still in the triple stroller was to Dinosaur World. By the time she was 5, she could tell you the names of every dinosaur in the park. She had dinosaur books, puzzles, stuffed animals, posters, clothes…you name it. When she was 6, we had a giant purple dinosaur painted on her wall–complete with a tiara.
I’ve always loved the characters of Winnie the Pooh, and I gave Aaron his first Eeyore when he was about 2 or 3. We named him “Little Eyeore.” Here is a Facebook post from June 2014 where I talk about the 6 Eeyores Aaron had at that time. Every Christmas we had to find a new version of Eeyore. I think at last count he had 14 different types of Eeyores.
Things sure have changed….
This summer the kids decided they each wanted their own room. They are 11, and I can see that it’s time. Avery took over the man cave, and Aaron took her room. The night before her room was repainted for Aaron, I sat in the center of the room with tears streaming down my face.
With one coat of grey paint that beautiful purple dinosaur symbolizing her childhood would be gone forever.
When we were in North Carolina, we popped into the Disney store. I couldn’t believe what I saw! After many fruitless trips to the Disney store, there were TWO brand new types of Eeyores in the store. Excitedly I grabbed one of them and went across the store where I saw John getting down the other Eeyore from a high shelf. With both Eeyores in my hand I turned to Aaron, “Wow! I can’t believe there are two new ones! You want them both, right?”
“No, Mom. I don’t think I need any more Eeyores.”
I almost lost it.
First Avery’s dinosaur is gone forever, and now Aaron doesn’t want a new Eeyore.
Today Aaron told me that he did want to go see the Christopher Robin movie. I was a little surprised, as I thought his Eeyore time was pretty much over. As I said, I have ALWAYS loved Winnie the Pooh, so I was more than happy to go. He doesn’t know it, but I pretty much cried through the whole movie. I loved seeing Aaron laugh at Eeyore, and even though he’s bigger than me now, all I could picture was a little 7 year-old boy surrounded by his 6 different Eeyores.
The movie was all about becoming an adult, and losing who you are as a child. I will have the picture of Aaron smiling and holding my hand during the movie burned in my memory forever.
It’s all been such a bag of mixed emotions. I’m so excited for the people they are becoming. I’m excited they are spreading their wings, wanting their own space, and developing into the people God created them to be. And the other side of that…well, my heart breaks over that side.
It’s about to be the start of another school year, and I know many of you are facing the same types of feelings in the same or various forms. Your baby could be starting Kindergarten, junior high, high school, or college. Your sweet little girl or boy may be getting married soon, or expecting their first child. Like me, I’m sure you are just savoring every minute of time with your kids regardless of the stage of life. These days go too quickly, and I just pray our kids always know how much we love them.