By: Nicole Loughan
The closing of Toys R Us and a broken arm have converged to bring on a feeling of Deja Vu.
It all started last month, on the first day of the winter break when my daughter fell down the stairs and broke her wrist. She is just a bit older than I was when I did the exact same thing, in the same spot to the same wrist. When I saw her in her tiny little cast I looked down at my own once broken wrist, which was set a little crooked and never straightened all the way back out, and remembered my own fall. Her break was only our second trip to the emergency room, and the first where something was actually wrong.
This break coincided with a memory of Toys R Us, which just announced the closing of all stores. For me these two events are connected because I had my first ever trip to Toys R Us after I broke my arm. When I was little, going to Toys R Us was magical.
My mom took me there to cheer me up after I got my cast and she told me I could pick out any toy I wanted. I could have bought anything: Rainbow Bright, maybe a Teddy Ruxpin, more My Little Ponies for the stable, or a new deck of Garbage Pail Kids, but for some reason, I chose a Smurfs T.V. tray.
Seeing Toys R Us signs and pictures of Giraffe Geoffrey being shown over the news with stories about the impending bankruptcy, all I couldthink of was that shopping trip with my mother. Memories of the two of us, walking hand in hand down the aisles, with my new cast dangling by my side came flooding back. We would stay for hours, bouncing balls
out of the bungee cord ball cage, looking at the cool toy displays like the new ThunderCats figurines and life-sized Lego creations. Even with the bad arm, it was an enchanting day for me. Times have changed so much. In fact I have never even considered taking my daughter to Toys R Us. Sadly, she and I have been to the emergency room two times more than we have been to Toys R Us.
Tomorrow is her last day in the cast and we had planned to go to breakfast aspart of our celebration. Now, I’m throwing a trip to Toys R Us in the mix to go full circle. I wonder what the store looks like today. I wonder if she will think anything is special about it now that every store we go to has a toy section. We think of special more as local toy stores like jaZams in Peddler’s Village and in Princeton or The Village Toy Shoppe in New Hope. I hope as she grows older those stores are still around. Otherwise buying a gift for a kid with a broken bone will just be clicking around on a website. That doesn’t feel particularly special, at least not enough so to evoke a life-long memory for a child.
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that Toys R Us is going out of business considering I didn’t even know I had one near me. In making plans for tomorrow’s post cast removal breakfast, I learned that there is a Toys R Us in Horsham, just ten minutes from our breakfast place. I didn’t even know it was there. There is still a little time to take a trip down memory lane, but if you want to go you should hurry. While no exact closure date has been announced the company said everybody has 30 days to get their gift cards spent. There is probably a location near you and you don’t even know about it. The good news is you can still go and you don’t even have to have a broken arm to do so.
Bucks County Toys R Us
Montgomery County Toys R Us
New Jersey Toys R Us