When I was a child, I often assigned emotions to inanimate objects. For instance, my stuffed animals (and there were a lot) carried a multitude of emotions that led to imagined stories of plush toy kingdoms and teddy bear adventures. I cried with them when they were sad, and nurtured them when they were hurt. I cuddled them when they were scared, laughed when they were happy, and threw fantasy parties on imagined birthdays, which in teddy bear land arrived more than once a year.
But, the emotional attachment to inanimate objects went much farther than that. Example….passing through double doors at stores was a terrible conundrum for me. You see, it’s very difficult to walk through both doors. You have to pick one, but if you pick just one than the other one is left out. If I could pull it off without my parents invading my secret word, I would walk through one door, and then walk back through the other door, and then rewalk through the other door. That way, every door was used and therefore appreciated. More often, however, my parents did not indulge me, and I secretly whispered apologies to the unused door while being dragged away.
This avenue of my imagination came to a dead end during the preteen years, and was all but forgotten until I caught our son doing something……well, very imaginative.
Our son is a Thomas the Tank Engine fanatic. One could even say he is train obsessed as he (at 5) could guide you through any train museum and explain every engine top-to-bottom in the yard.
This past Christmas, I was thrilled to find Thomas the Tank Engine socks. The small treasure came in a set of two socks.
One pair of Thomas socks and one pair of Percy socks.
For some reason, I kept finding these socks mismatched in the dirty clothes. They were paired as follows:
After a few washings, I started thinking that maybe Bug is doing this on purpose, so I asked him.
“Mom” he said, “Thomas and Percy are friends. They will be sad if I separate them.”
Enter a flood of memories from my own childhood. Ahh, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Now, I mismatch the socks on purpose. I mean, we wouldn’t want Thomas and Percy to be lonely inside the sock drawer. It gets so dark in there……..