It's the official end of an era. The remaining Toys R Us stores across the country will close forever on Friday according to CNN Money. Painfully pointing to the fact that it's time to grow up, you can't be a 'Toys R Us kid' anymore.

Central Minnesota has been painfully aware of the harsh reality for some time now. The Waite Park Toys R Us has been closed for a few years.

It sounds dramatic but it's a sad day for my generation because Toys R Us was a store for us, when we were kids. Toys R Us made us feel like we mattered and we had a voice.The store's message was that it was OK to be a kid. My mom grew up in an era where kids were to be seen and not heard, speak when spoken to, etc. But, my generation was different. We had a store for us and we mattered.

During that same time-frame Nickelodeon launched the Kid's Choice Awards, etc. It was part of this whole kid's are the future culture. We were reassured that we matter and we could change the world.

I loved the slogan, 'I don't want to grow up, I want to be a Toys R Us kid.' It was my anthem at two years old. I remember not wanting to be potty trained because I felt like I was going against my motto of growing up too fast. It's something I think about sometimes and laugh at how serious I took it.

I have so many great memories shopping at the toy store and being amazed at all of the different kinds of toys there were. I got my first bike without training wheels from Toys R Us. Sometimes if I was really good, my mom would take me to the store and let me pick out one toy. I would spend what felt like hours thoughtfully walking up and down the isles, surveying my options. One of my favorite selections was a Cabbage Patch doll I got that came with a birth certificate and carrying case that doubled as a doll crib.

These are memories that I'll never forget. It's a sad day to see Toys R Us stores close for good around the country. It's not just the closing of a toy store--it's the end of an era and a lost part of my childhood. What's a fond memory you have of the toy store?

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