Thursday, December 27, 2018

The End of an Era

While watching the grandkids tear into their Christmas loot, I realized that the world has changed.


And without my permission, dammit!

When our kids were toddlers, we spent way too much on Christmas presents for them and then watched as they ignored the actual presents in favor of playing with the shredded wrapping paper and the empty boxes. Really, there were some years when I thought we'd have done better to give them nothing but cardboard boxes; no toy we ever bought could complete with the joy of squashing your little sister into a packing carton for immediate shipment Elsewhere.

No longer. The baby hasn't even figured out how to rip off the wrapping paper yet, but with a little help from her big brother she got hold of her toys. There were at least two large plastic objects with big buttons to push and big wheels to turn, and when armed with the appropriate batteries they rewarded her aimless explorations with flashing lights, nursery rhymes, and obnoxious noises. She was fascinated!

For a while I wondered, Grinch-like, if we'd ever be able to interest her in something as plain as an actual book -- not this Christmas, but a few years hence. But you know, I think we will. Because there's one thing those flashing, beeping plastic devices don't do.

They don't tell a story.

And humans always need stories.


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