I Wanna Be A Toys ‘R Us Kid!

It was Christmas of 1979… I wished so hard, my heart was bursting with anticipation. The Chipmunks had just come out with their holiday album, and I wanted that cool Fischer Price record player. Do you remember those “innovative” plastic records? I never did figure out how they worked. It played like magic, and I wanted one so bad!

Fischer Price Record Player

1970's Chipmunks

I remember my present was wrapped to crisp perfection. Red Christmas paper with images of Santa. The edges meticulously matched. Thick gold ribbon, topped off with a beautiful over-sized bow. I knew as soon as I saw the package that Santa had answered my prayers. Back in the 1970’s, I wasn’t creeped out by the whole concept of a fat old man stalking me throughout the year. All I cared about was minding my P’s and Q’s so that I could get the present of my dreams. If I did my part, I knew Santa would do his part.

Yup, that was the best!

Today’s present pales by comparison… We are having some work done in our basement. It started out as a “simple” project that would cost us less than a thousand bucks. After meeting with a few contractors, it became apparent that the project would require replacing three support columns in our basement and redoing a huge section of concrete. Before long, the project widened in scope again to include some major plumbing overhauls, tearing down at least one wall, and installing two sump pumps. The grand total, and we aren’t finished yet, is approaching $6k.


All day, I found myself flip-flopping between frustration, anger, fear and anxiety. All the while, trying to embrace the idea that “this too shall pass” and “there are lessons from every storm.” After all, I write a blog which boasts “embracing the magic of the every day...” I found myself intentionally seeking some message from this “gift” that we’ve found ourselves opening.

Honestly, I’m still in the anger phase. The insights just aren’t coming to me. However, for whatever reason I was blessed with the image of my Fischer Price Christmas from 1979. I guess the best I can muster, in this moment, is relishing the fact that we have a home. With heat. And food. And love. And in this home, I am surrounded by 2 beautiful kids and a caring husband (he’s beautiful too). I guess I can also muster appreciation for this honest and hard-working contractor who is invested in making sure that our home is structurally stable. While I’m at it, I should show some appreciation that the plumber is not sporting any crack

It took courage to write that last paragraph.

Really what I want more than anything, in this moment, is to be a Toys ‘R Us Kid!

Toys 'R Us

Is that wrong?


  1. Well, its like I tell my daughter when she complains that her 1994 Honda Accord needs this or that. I say, “well it is cheaper than a new car payment for the next few months” and she’ll mumble something under her breath. Concrete and sump pumps may not net you a positive return on investment when you sell but it might provide you a basement where you can create a crafts room or simply knowing you will not end up in a hole while you are sleeping. Of course I say this knowing the age of my house and knowing that my heater could go out or the main sewer line could fall apart. I could be singing a similar tune soon. However, this house is more than just safe shelter. This house is where home is, where we gather to remember the times when the girls were younger, where we still gather to share news and seek loving support. It is just a house on one hand that will cost money in upkeep, but it is our safe place too – it is home. And there is (strangely) peace of mind knowing that the foundation is safe or that the electrical is done right.


    1. Ed, after a good night’s sleep, I am ready to pull up my big-girl panties. I guess the situation is a metaphor… all the real growth in life comes from the deep places. I recently saw a snippet from Wayne Dyer that applies here… “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It’s worth 3:36 minute investment. Enjoy!

      Thanks for keeping the conversation alive!


Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s