Boomers, take heart: our toys are back, prominently displayed at my local pharmacy/gift shop/post office. I like to think that the young kids in our lives would enjoy them as much as we did. Our toys of the 50s fostered skills different from the skills gained from computer and video games, and no one ever worried about our yo-yos or jacks instilling pathological behavior and addictions—not that this is to say my generation is immune to pathological behavior and addiction.
I shared a moment with age mate Connie, who works at our back-in-time pharmacy, reminiscing over how much we had both enjoyed playing jacks and learning yo-yo tricks, assembling architectural wonders with Tinker Toys, and drawing with Etch-a-Sketches. We were also encouraged that tea sets have endured through the generations, even if the ones sold today aggrandize the presumptive virtue of recycled plastic.
Being, I suppose, of a radically inflexible—or perhaps an inflexibly radical–demeanor, I tend both to suspect change, and to wonder what kept it from coming sooner. I think our best toys at every age move us into a resilient space of radical flexibility. But as time goes on, I’m just not sure I’m always comfortable there.