Anyone else a fan of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips? The other day my buddy Robby shared a story on Facebook about Calvin’s last day and his passing of his beloved stuffed tiger Hobbes to his grandson. You can read the story HERE but be prepared with a box of KleenEx or at least an absorbent shirt sleeve, it’s a bit of a tear jerker. I read the story and, like some of the others that commented on Robby’s post, I found myself a bit choked up and…OK…teary eyed. As I finished reading I saw ConnieLou pull into the driveway. Once inside she greeted me, gave me a puzzled look and asks “What’s wrong?” After a couple of tries I finally managed to croak out “Calvin died.” The resulting conversation went something like this:
ConnieLou: “Calvin who?”
Me: “Calvin…Calvin and Hobbes Calvin.”
ConnieLou: “The comic strip, Calvin?”
ConnieLou: “You mean they quit writing the comic strip?”
Me: “No, Calvin died.”
ConnieLou: Calvin died?
Me: “Yeah, Calvin died.”
Me: “Here, read this…”
Needless to say she thought I was a little more off my rocker than usual.
As I drove into work yesterday morning I had some time to think about the story and why it affected me like it did. I’ve had a similar experience a number of times before but with different triggers. The first time that I can recall happened when Ashley was 13 or so. I was headed to the playroom to use the computer and I noticed her standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom putting on makeup. Since that’s a relatively normal occurrence for girls that age I didn’t think much of it…until I got in the playroom and found myself staring at a bunch of her toys, many of which hadn’t been played with in a while. Although she still played with a few of her toys some, I knew her days of being ‘little’ were behind her.
There have been other occurrences, some centered around toys, some around music and most around some life event or milestone like a graduation or learning to drive a car…something that signaled passing of time and reminded me that they’re not only getting older but growing up.
I’ve told ConnieLou a number of times over the past few years that we’d better get used to the idea that they are growing up and will be out doing their own thing sooner than we think. I think I should probably be listening to that myself…but apparently I’m not.
Yeah, my daughters are growing up and I don’t like it. Not one bit. I want them to stay little and be full of imagination and adventure, like Calvin and his pal Hobbes…and I know, like Calvin in the story, they can’t stay little… and that just sucks.
Dangit Robby! Why did you have to post that link?