I Live on the Island of Misfit Toys

Do you remember watching Rudolf as a kid and being enchanted with the Island of Misfit Toys?  I do and have been thinking about that time a lot lately.

When I was little, my mom would go through the TV Guide and highlight all the Christmas specials during the month of December. Every night after dinner my brother and I would have a bath, hop into our flannel jammies, snuggle under a blanket on the floor and watch every possible Christmas special available. Mom often made hot chocolate with marshmellows and the Christmas baking was started so cookies were also a treat for bed time snack. Sometimes dad would light a fire and we always watched the show in the dark with only the tree lights on. It was magical for me. Fridays, mom would let us sleep under the tree. Imagine how magical it was for a little kid sleeping under the Christmas tree with the lights on! I would wake up in the middle of the night with the lights off and be disappointed. But was too lazy to turn the lights on, and too fearful of burning the tree burning down. Granny always had a good scare story about how some poor family left their lights on and their house burn to the ground. That was not an option for me. I liked my house, especially my room.

My room had two closets. One for clothes and one permanently set up as a doll house. I was living the dream…except for one thing. I never quite felt like I fit in. I could have easily lived on the Island of Misfit Toys.

Don’t misunderstand, I had lots of friends but I never felt part of the group. I’m sure lots of people feel that way. The older I get the more I realize it is true. People who think and over think and analyze things to death, often feel disconnect from the group. I still do in many ways. I have a ton of friends for a gal who hates people…not true, I like people just not every waking minute. I love solitude but I also love socializing. If I had to choose between the two…solitude would win. Strange to some, but normal to others.

I have lived through a lot of teenage drama this week. From boyfriends and dates, to misfit solitude. The balance is hard. The worst of it is, mommy can’t fix the pain. She can talk, sympathize, advise, support, but the decision must be made by the teens themselves. It’s nights like this one where I wish for the simplicity of being 8 and sleeping under the Christmas Tree. I wish I could make it that easy for my Offspring. As a mom, it may in fact be more painful for me than it is for them. I’ve walked in their shoes, now I have heels and walk bedside them. Being a mom is harder than being a teenager. Wish someone had told me. I remember just wanting a baby, I didn’t think about them growing up.

I want to go to the magical attic, the place where everything is stored. (It is the equivalent to your dog moving to the country. I think it is called the Sally Ann, or the Dump.) And dig out my 1975 turquoise aluminium tree. Cover it in blue lights and white decorations and leave the lights on while I sleep. A little bit of Christmas fairy dust would be good about now. Maybe Santa will leave a giant bandaid in the stocking to fix the sore hearts in our house OR maybe we just need to settle down for a long winters nap.


8 thoughts on “I Live on the Island of Misfit Toys

  1. I’ve wanted an aluminum tree for years now. The Charlie Brown Christmas special always inspires me. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for kitsch. That would explain all the lava lamps in my house…

  2. I remember watching the Christmas specials with my cousins, blissfully unaware that our parents in the other room were losing their minds with the stress of raising us on top of the stress of serving up a Hallmark Christmas. And, like you, I didn’t quite fit anywhere. Thinking too much for my own good, often with book in the corner somewhere.
    My kids are still wee, and their drama already overwhelms me. I hope your week got better.

  3. “I remember just wanting a baby, I didn’t think about them growing up”

    OH so true… being at odds with my teenager has me constantly shaking my head, wondering where that adorable little 6 year old boy went who used to love me more than anything too. Now he calls me “She who taketh away”… Oh parenting… it’s such a bumpy ride sometimes. Hang in there, and thanks for the magical idea, I think my daughter and I will have a camp out under the tree tonight 🙂

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