All whipped up in a froth of nostalgia, I started sharing my favorite childhood things with my kids. I pictured them embracing their history through the “antique” items that represented my youth. Because they already know Blue Baby, they were right to be cautious about stuff from Mommy’s childhood.
But still, they’d come around on Blue Baby, so I assumed they would see beneath the scars of love and overuse to embrace the “new” toys I was introducing them to.
What actually happened is that they not only rejected half of the relics, but some of them actually seemed to distress and traumatize them. The themes of the books I loved were troubling to their modern sensibilities. Apparently, my kids don’t like stories about poachers or near-death-by-drowning or the arrogance of “Man” vis-a-vis the animal kingdom. Where in the world did these radical children come from? Commies.
It shouldn’t have hurt my feelings, but I confess I felt dissed. Then I felt ridiculous when I heard myself saying, “Just ignore the part where Babar’s mom was murdered! Wait till you see him get married. It’s the coolest!”
Fine. Your American Girl dolls are fancier than Blue Baby; your muddled and incomprehensible Dora stories are better than Babar. I just hope I live long enough to meet my grandchildren and roll out the crap my kids think is so freaking awesome and timeless. I will have the last laugh here, even if I have to live to 90 to get it.
To read about how my children reacted as we plowed through Babar, Curious George, and other classics from my 1970’s childhood, click here.