Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting Old and Toy Story 3 is So Good

So yesterday was my birthday and I turned 38. I know that is old to some of you because the blogosphere slants young. But thanks to the Desperate Housewives and Demi Moore I'm still totally in the game. I don't care about aging. Sure, I'm fatter and less supple. What am I going to do? The night before my birthday I said to each of my kids, "Just imagine 38 years ago tonight I was still in Grandma's stomach, waiting to come out." They almost threw up. Oh yeah, they LOVE to hear about the night THEY were born but switch to an old lady gestating another old lady and suddenly they have to stifle their gags.

We went to see Toy Story 3 for my birthday. It's probably the best movie I've seen all year--and I don't like cartoons or enjoy things like Ice Age. It's very well done, clever, and moving. My oldest son was just little when Toy  Story came out and he was SUPER into it. It was the first thing Sam was really into (except for Blues Clues, I guess.) He had Buzz and Woody and even a Zurg room guard. Now he mows lawns for money so he can ride his bike to Chucka Rama with his friends and eat all he can eat. He still has toys but it's not the same. Watching Andy go off to college is a KILLER, folks.

Because parenting is a killer. You have a baby and it hurts really bad and they eat and don't sleep so it's hard and physically taxing but you are thrilled because you love it and it's what you want. It's crazy. And then they throw fits and make messes that you literally don't know how to clean up (sour milk in the crack between the seats in you your car? Desitin and Baby powder inside shoes? Swiffer? Whaaaaa?), and they do that thing where they throw back their head and hit you in the nose and it hurts and makes you mad and older well-meaning people tell you to just enjoy it because it goes by fast. It's a killer because you feel guilty for not enjoying cleaning smeared poop off the fridge and then they go to Jr. High School orientation and tell you, "It's OK, Mom. You don't have to stay. See ya." and you think oh crap. Maybe I should have enjoyed it?

But enjoying cleaning up poop is insane and I don't think it makes anything better in the long run so I refuse to be happy about it. Kids should just make fewer messes and throw fewer fits. I'm just saying I could imagine how Andy's mom feels about him going to college. Of course you are proud because you want your kids to grow up and go to college. It's just that parenting is not, I think, a winning proposition. Even if your kids turn out great they're off and running on their own. Bittersweet--I think is what they call it?

As a parent, I obviously relate to Woody and Buzz--which makes this movie so, so charming. My kids won't need me at some point just like they don't need their toys. What is virtuous in Andy as a kid--that he loves and takes care of his toys--will translate into virtue in Andy as an adult maybe as loyalty, thoughtfulness, and imagination. But the objects (the toys) really aren't important in the same way. You get that. The toys get that (to varying degrees--I mean, the dinosaur is pretty dopey so he doesn't get it. Woody gets it). And growing up means getting that. It's like when we saw Where the Wild Things Are and my little kids just thought it was weird and didn't like it but Sam understood that it was very sad, which is sad. But also cool because, what a great kid! It's also cool to see him serve in the church, talk to teachers by himself, and fix quesadillas for the whole family. Does the sheer joy of raising kids outweigh the bittersweet and just plain sad? I don't know, man.

I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. Sam spent the last bit of his mowing-money on a Toy Story Nintendo DS case which he will probably take with him to college some day. (If he goes to college.) (Which is a whole other agonizing contingency--Rejection letters. Failing. Having enough money. Etc.) So anyway. Toy Story 3 is great. In addition to alluding to the weighty matters of parenting and putting away your childish things, it's delightfully funny.  Plus, Woody reminded me a little bit of Jack Shepherd.

30 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! You're still young and you're doing a great job with your family.

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  2. Note: Do NOT go see Toy Story 3 with your step-mom who put her baby boy in the MTC two days before. She totally out-cried me! It was embarrassing!

    I was just thrilled that the twins sat through the ENTIRE movie without moving. First time ever. I love you, PIXAR!

    The whole thing did have a kind of LOST series finale feeling to it...

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  3. I took my youngest two kids yesterday to Toy Story and was completely taken by surprise with the whole going away to college thing. I also have a son going to college in the fall and when Andy and his Mom walked into his cleared out room the water works started pouring! So sad! What a trip parenting is!

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  4. I am so excited to see the movie, yet dreading it because I don't want to get that cry headache Pixar totally has in mind for me. This post rings true for me. I'm glad Sam is one year older than Miles and you can be just one step ahead because, man, I need to be warned and prepared as much as possible (cry headache starting on just thinking about jr. high. ..)

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  5. What I need to do is read something like this every single day so that I remember to appreciate every moment I have with my lil' guys. It'll be all too soon that they are not here every day to drive me crazy (with joy).

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  6. It was the little girl in the cape and sleeping with all the toys that got me. My boys wore capes all day and tucked in their Buzz and Woody dolls and now they have ipods in their ears and go to Lagoon by themselves. Oh, I cried.

    Also, I'm not going to throw away any more old toys - did you see how sad that makes them?????

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  7. You have to admit, an old lady being in another old lady's stomach is gross. It just really is.

    I hope you had a very nice birthday.

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  8. Sometimes you creep me out a little. Not two days ago I was thinking about the time when my oldest slammed the back of his head into my nose during the sacrament and I screamed but didn't cuss, and how that still isn't a warm, fuzzy memory. And then last night I was watching the same son making his siblings quesadillas and thinking that the whole getting older thing isn't so bad at all. But I'm not going to think about anyone leaving for college. Happy birthday! I'm internet elderly too- 37 next month!

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  9. We saw the movie tonight after hearing it was so great. I loved the Spanish speaking Buzz. Didn't he have some sweet dance moves? I also thought the feminizing of Ken was great comedy for todays age. Although I'm not quite sure I like where we are going with this-it still makes for a good laugh.

    Happy Birthday!

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  10. I was already excited to see TS3, and now you make it all parenty and heart-wrenching and I'm even more excited.

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  11. YAY> I hope your bday was fab. I was totally thinking of you you cuz (as I mentioned before) you & my hubs share a bday, but he is one year older (39) as am I (well, as of September...so I guess that makes me 9 mos older than you). Anyway, we've been planning to celebrate with TS3 for a year and were not disappointed. HEARTSTRINGS! Good stuff. Thanks for the fun review. Now we can have fun being 38 (old) together for a few months.

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  12. [That was me, BTW, not the PTO]

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  14. So I just had a not-so-perfect birthday and just to let you know, I'm older than you by a few years. After reading your post I'm almost afraid to go see TS3. My oldest heads off to college in eight weeks and I've cried too many times already. I'm afraid I'll be a mess in the movie. Like when I saw "My Life" when I was pregnant and had to walk out into the light of day in a most embarrassing condition.

    Parenting is hard and wonderful and disappointing and messy and thrilling and exciting.

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  15. Everyone keeps saying how great this movie is...but my oldest just took the ACT, and she has boobs...I'm not sure I can take anymore bittersweet right now. Plus I just turned 40. Happy Birthday though.

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  17. I'm so glad you spoke up and said you don't have to cherish cleaning up poop and other questionable substances. Because I really hate it when I try and empathize with a new mom and say something like, "Man those newborn nights are brutal" and then they say something cliche like, "but it's worth it". Because you know what, it's okay to admit that it really blows once in a while. Like urine. I still don't know if cleaning that up all the time is worth it? And I was just talking to this newer mom in my ward today at church (she was trying to hold her toddler down in the foyer) when she said, "This is going to be worth it someday, right". I told her no, not necessarily, but it doesn't last forever...like I rarely have to take my husband out during Sacrament meeting anymore...

    Sorry for the lengthy comment. Love your blog!

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  18. I looooooooooooved it, and I totally thought of Losties while our Toy Story characters were facing their challenges.
    Happy Birthday!

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  20. Hi Kacy,
    Happy Birthday!

    I am not a random stalker I promise. I love the way you write...and you are hilarious. Heidi sent me the link to your blog as she knows I like compelling writing. Thanks for making my day!
    Jan

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  21. Thank you for making me feel better about (one of my) my parenting philosophy, which goes like this:

    I'm not much for enjoying things that aren't enjoyable, so I get annoyed when people tell me to "just enjoy them" when I complain about my children. I know I'll miss them when they're gone, but no amount of enjoying will prevent them from leaving (thank goodness), so let me wallow just a little, and go enjoy your own children/husband/cat.

    So thank you.

    p.s. I didn't even know there WAS a Toy Story 3, so maybe I really AM a bad mother. Crap.

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  22. I'm just thrilled they eked out another Toy Story before Tim Allen kicked it because heaven knows HE'S getting old, and there's no other voice for Buzz. Remember when Arthur's "voice" finally hit puberty? That was the end of that.

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  23. Hey! We went to Toy Story to celebrate Dean's birthday. But he was turning 39, so he's REALLY old. (And I turned 39 nine days before Dean did, so I'm ancient.)

    I loved, loved, loved the movie. It even made me feel like abandoning any artistic pursuits, because once I'd seen perfection, how could any endeavor of mine be worthwhile?

    We left the kids at home when we saw it and I don't know if I'll be able to bear watching it with the kids because we have some SERIOUS toy attachments amongst our offspring and they might die of grief during some of the more tender scenes. Kinda like I nearly did.

    P.S. My 6-year-old's been having night terrors and we use NickJr.com videos on the PC to get her calmed down, so I just watched a few minutes with her of the episode where they transitioned from Steve to Joe because (drum roll) Steve goes away to college. The childlike treatment of the concept of college is nearly identical to TS3's.

    P.P.S. I just read the other comments and you have ANOTHER reader whose husband turned 39 on the 18th? This is too many coincidences in one night for me.

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  24. Episode of Blue's Clues, that is. That we watched for night terror therapy.

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  25. I feel exactly the same way about parenting as you do....and Lost ...and Toy Story. People keep telling me I need to have another baby so I can try for a girl (I have 3 boys and 1 girl.) How many boys will I get before I get a girl, huh? I know my limits and my limits are pushed to the very brink of insanity when I am up all night with a screaming baby. I've done it four times... enough is enough, right?
    I bawled my eyes out in the last 10 minutes of TS3... in a good way... it was perfectly done. Just like Lost. I feel completely satisfied with the ending. And I managed to hide the fact that I was crying from the kids, so that's a bonus. Won't be as easy when we are watching it on DVD in the family room, though.

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  26. Pretty sure the only reason I decided to have kids is so that when they do get old enough, I can make them do crap for me. Sure I'll have to struggle through at least 3 years of the poo flinging (which my daughter did just the other day) but as soon as they're tall enough to grab a plate out of the cupboard and responsible enough to use a knife, you'd better believe I'll be demanding some turkey sandwiches, fresh squeezed lemonade, and my car washed!

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  27. I don't like cartoons either, but you just can't go wrong with Pixar.

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  28. So I made the mistake of taking Drew to see Toy Story 3 on his 6th birthday and I cried like a baby at the end. Then I proceeded to tell Drew he couldn't grow up and have any more birthdays! I thought I was just a big sap - but I'm glad to read these comments and see that I'm not the only one!

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