I am babysitting my nephew, Rylan, today and we were in his room playing, I look down and see an old toy that used to be mine. For some reason that made me think about all the things that toy has been through to get to his point in time; in another two-year-old’s toy box.
I remember being quite little, not old enough to remember anything about that time like how old I was, where we were living, or who all I was with, but what I do remember is that we were walking around a mall and came upon one of those Science stores. The ones that had those static electricity lightning balls that followed the energy of your finger when you touched them, all types of small science trick toys, but above all I zoned in on one thing above the rest.
The toy was one of those small rectangle of dull nails behind a wall of plastic. The point was to have fun with it making imprints of your hand or face, or anything you could push into the field of nails. Then, I thought it was one of the most ingenious things I had ever seen. Somehow I convinced my mother into getting me one and I played with that thing for weeks.
But like any child with a new toy something else becomes the favorite toy only weeks later. A child’s mind always growing and learning new things, so my nail toy fell to the depths of our toy bin only surfacing every now and then. Over the years, after we got rid of boxes of toys we outgrew, that one always managed to remain in our toy box. It would be left on the floor for days at a time, getting stepped on, thrown, some of the nails became bent, some went missing entirely, the plastic front became scratched. House after house, year after year, that toy remained with us, remained mine. And even after I moved out of my mother’s house when I was fourteen I brought it with me, for some reason unable to let it go.
I never played with it, didn’t care for it to be in my sight whenever it surfaced, but something made me bring it along. All throughout high school it stayed on a self collecting dust and soon I just passed it off to another member of my family. Soon I had forgotten about it completely.
But I found it again today, a smile coming to my face at it’s survival after everything it’s gone through. I picked up the toy and showed Rylan what it was for and his little face lit up and he smiled so big. He kept pushing his hand into over and over laughing and carrying on. After all this time, with all it’s scars, surviving it’s past the toy as found another to love it, another to keep it’s purpose meaning something.
Then I realized that’s all of us. We are all that toy and maybe that’s what the movie Toy Story had been trying to get us to understand this whole time. With our scars and our past, our mistakes, and scratches given to us by others for whatever reason we have made it through and we have to be patient for the next thing that’s going to find us happy at our existence, happy that we have made it through our lives.I still see these being sold in stores here and there, but for the most part not many people knows what this is. That’s alright, because the one I have is still going strong.