More than a Toy Store
Like so many of the moms of our generation, I grew up a “Toys R Us Kid”. We went there for birthday presents, Christmas presents, last minute birthday gifts, and on special occasions like preschool graduation and mother daughter outings. Many years went by where I didn’t have a reason to go there. Then came baby showers, pregnancy, and motherhood, and it took on a new meaning. We drove two hours to the closest full size Babies R Us to register for our firstborn after over a year of trying so hard for her. Over the years that followed, it became a regular place for me to visit for urgent pumping supplies, Black Friday sales, Christmas and birthday presents, baby shower gifts, and wandering aisles on maternity leave to keep me busy.
It was also the parking lot I was sitting in when I accidentally found out our firstborn was a girl. Eight months into my pregnancy, I decided to switch to a birth center and had picked up my records from my OB to bring to the new center. On the way, I stopped at Babies R Us to pick up some things, and decided to look over the records before bringing them to my midwife.
We had not found out the sex, and not planned to. But our miracle baby had kidney disease, and they left the gender out of all but one report. The one from Children’s Hospital. You see, with most conditions, gender does not matter. But with kidney disease, it does. So there it was “singleton female fetus”. Out poured tears and tears and tears of pure joy. I was so sure my sweet baby was a boy. I was wrong, and I was elated. Then I had to let my husband know I ruined the surprise, but that is another story.
It may just be a store, but it is a store so full of memories lasting decades. Wandering the aisles with my parents, hearing their stories of shopping then staying up until the wee hours of the night putting gifts together, then taking on those same roles myself as a parent. So much of my mothering experience was rooted in time there. Walking the aisles with the scanner as we eagerly picked out the perfect gender neutral baby items. We had waited until after the anatomy scan, a scan at which we got devastating news about our rainbow baby. So then we waited. Eventually, we registered. Hopeful, optimistic, and praying that our baby would be just fine. Aisles I had walked prior to that pregnancy while facing infertility and miscarriage searching for hope like I’m sure so many others have. Thumbing through tiny clothes, maternity wear, testing out strollers, and wandering aimlessly wondering if you will ever need these things. Month after month. And then we were finally there for our baby, a miracle baby, but also a sick baby. A baby we weren’t sure at that time would make it. It was such a joyous, bittersweet, emotion filled experience.
To fast forward, over two more pregnancies and three more babies, there were dozens more visits for all the reasons listed above. Each new baby brought new needs, and the excitement of shopping for gifts for new babies to be of our friends and families. So many merry trips with my children climbing in and out of the ride on cars, just as I had as a kid, picking out toys that brought them hours of entertainment. Flipping through the Big Book of Toys at Christmas time and circling all the toys they wanted. Playing in the ride ons at the exit, putting coins in the tattoo and toy machines. It was a dream world for my children, like so many others.
And today we said goodbye. Goodbye forever. With two carts full and then some (Baby #4 not pictured.) Not just to a store, but to a lifetime of memories.
Brianna is a native Cape Codder and homeschooling mom of 4, a six year old girl, three year old boy, and twin 7 month old boys. She enjoys nature exploration, beach days, snowboarding, baking, fishing, travel, crafting, and writing, as well as geocaching, hiking, and picnicking with her children. She runs a blog and Facebook page called "The Mostly Crunchy Mama" and owns a children's consignment shop in Orleans called Little Codders. She enjoys staying up late long after the kids have gone to sleep to indulge in homemade desserts, to sew, write, coupon, and generally catch up on life without little hands needing help. An avid volunteer with 14 years of experience working with the American Cancer Society, as well as several other organizations, she has a background in business management but left behind her career after deciding self employment was a better fit for family life and a good work/life balance.
Cape Cod Moms