We wanted to have a couple books about the holidays for Kate and Sarah so we headed to Borders. To my delight, right there at the front of the Children's section in the display set up to snag parents exactly like me, was a reprint of the same The Night Before Christmas I had when I was little! Dave used to read it to me. He'd get to the part where he "ran to the window and threw up the sash" but he'd just say "I ran to the window and threw up!" I'd laugh and laugh and make him start over. Paging through the book at Borders I confirmed what I suspected - I don't actually know any part of that story after that point. Feeling happily nostalgic I rejected the Curious George Christmas book Kate had picked up and purchased The Night Before Christmas. When we got home I sat her on my lap and began to read it to her. She was distracted and disinterested.
In a similar vein, Jeremiah ordered a copy of The Muppets' Christmas Carol for her. He was excited to give it to her -this movie of which he had such fond memories. He was sure she'd be thrilled. So certain, in fact, that he insisted he give it to her himself. It started and she wandered off to the kitchen holding her copy of Bugs Life and asking to watch it.
We want so much to share with our kids the things that made our own childhoods happy, I guess because we want so much for their childhoods to be happy. But we keep forgetting that it's not the things that made us happy. It was the events surrounding those things. And more importantly, the people. I know that Kate will have her own things to which she attaches great meaning and affection. But those things will matter to her because we'll have read them to her, or watched them with her, or made it with her...whatever. Simply giving Kate my old Raggedy Ann won't make her love Raggedy, no matter how much I sneak Raggedy into her bed. I know this. I'm just...not there yet.